A number of Flights administered by 656 Squadron were active in Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah, throughout the Malaya campaign with Indonesia.
The unit maintained a small detachment of Scout in Belize between Nov 1975 and Apr 1980. A detachment of 3 Scouts (to Gwelo) and 3 Gazelles (to Salisbury) were deployed for Peacekeeping operations in Southern Rhodesia from Dec 1979 until Jan 1981. The unit deployed to the South Atlantic in 1982 in support of 5th Infantry Brigade.
Apache was introduced to the unit in 2003 and by end of 2004, its Lynx AH.7 had been replaced. In Sep 2005 656 Sqd deployed to HMS Ocean to establish a Maritime Interim Operational Capability. In April 2006, 656 Sqd deployed to Helmand Province as part of Operation Herrick 4 and conducted its first combat operations on 10 May.
The unit moved its Apache AH.1 from Dishforth to Wattisham and became part of 4 REGT during 2007, as part of the AAC restructuring to single model Regiments.
For a period of 3 weeks in Oct 2010, the unit embarked 3 Apache AH.1 on HMS Ark Royal to prove operations in a maritime environment.
During May 2011, whilst working with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Ocean to prove Response Force Task Group concept, the ship was ordered off Libya to participate in Operation Ellamy, the UK contribution to Operation Unified Protector. 4 Apache AH.1 (ZJ179, ZJ188, ZJ207, ZJ233) were embarked for this iconoclastic mission, conducting combat operations in a heavy helicopter with a narrow undercarriage and high centre of gravity from a deck, in a corrosive environment.
|1975/80||Philip S W Goldson International Airport (PGIA)||MZBZ|
|may-11||oct-11||Operation Unified Protector|