The Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have jointly revived the prestigious 80 Squadron.

The ceremony, held at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, saw both forces come together to share the historic squadron numberplate.

During the event, the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Rich Knighton, alongside his Australian counterpart, Air Marshal Robert Chipman, unveiled new squadron badges and officially reinstated the dormant 80 Squadron for each nation.

This took place within the framework of the Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL).

Sir Rich Knighton emphasised the strategic importance of the ACURL, stating, “F-35 warfighting capability in Europe and the Indo Pacific is dependent on how well the specialist personnel at 80 Squadron continue to ‘sharpen the spear’ together in their work here in Florida. Co-location of the whole F-35 reprogramming enterprise at Eglin AFB provides a unique opportunity to integrate with our closest F-35 partners to the fullest extent.

The laboratory houses highly trained specialists who compile and test the Mission Data File Sets (MDFS) used on-board the fifth generation stealth fighter jets. These data sets integrate with the aircraft’s sensors to provide pilots with real-time, critical information during the most demanding combat missions.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_811790)
1 month ago

Continues a sad trend, squadron number plates yet no actual aircraft. Even ATCC at Swanwick has had a Sqn number for a while now, and various R&D elements of the ASWC.

Cynic in me then thinks Joe uninformed looks at a list of RAF Sqns and thinks wow look at how many. Subtle spin.

Other part of me, oh well, no real harm in it. But I myself prefer these supporting organisations to be named for what they are.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst (@guest_811795)
1 month ago

👍

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson (@guest_811850)
1 month ago

The reality is that most of these sqns will never reactivate with aircraft again – as has 3/4 of the RAF post WW2 – lets get real here – its not all driven by decline but the changes in warfare and technology and yes the limits of budgets – that’s the real world. Its better these sqns see some productive and active service again reflecting the essential support to those that do fly – piloted or not, than disappear forever. if nothing else it honours the service and sacrifices of conflicts past. 80 was chosen to align with the Oz… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_811976)
1 month ago

if nothing else it honours the service and sacrifices of conflicts past.”

Very true this.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_811902)
1 month ago

I know where you are coming from, but I suppose a squadron identity helps foster a sense of ‘tribe’ and belonging mate…

I’m sure the day will come when the only time 90% of the Airforce will fly, is when they go on holiday to the med!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_811981)
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

squadron identity helps foster a sense of ‘tribe’ and belonging mate…”

Also true mate.

Something Different
Something Different (@guest_811951)
1 month ago

The army has army has battalions, regiments and batteries for a weird and wonderful selection of roles (not just those who operate things that go boom) but most people seem to accept that. Why can’t the RAF do the same

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_811980)
1 month ago

Sure. Most are actually training organisations with a regimental, battalion, or Sqn number/name in line with the front line units of the Corps that they support. And the army also has many more organisations that don’t fit that outline at all, that are not training based but have a support/R&D/tech function. Examples, and some fun to be had, as I have my Army database in front of me so literally hundreds to pick and choose: 😜 77 Army Education Centre: Does what it says on the tin. Calling it 77 Regiment or Sqn perhaps? Bicester Garrison Support Unit, shall we… Read more »

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_811791)
1 month ago

So this is a computer programming squadron, not a frontline squadron, is that right ? Ye gods…

john
john (@guest_811792)
1 month ago

Good grief two tailor’s dummies so much gold braid really.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_811822)
1 month ago

Amusing to see yet another handful of people in an office given a squadron plate!

Did a quick count and by my reckoning (excluding the auxiliary units) the RAF has 55 active squadrons, of which 27 have no aircraft at all or are evaluation, conversion or training squadrons.

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson (@guest_811852)
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Join the real world – better they are used and active than disappear forever.

Old Tony
Old Tony (@guest_811892)
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Well, yes – but the RN also has ships which don’t float, or ‘stone frigates’ as they are sometimes called (eg HMS Eaglet, HMS Vivid, HMS Collingwood, etc).

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_811901)
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

Yeah fair point! Not against giving squadron numbers to units without aircraft in principle, just interesting how the ratio of frontline squadrons vs supporting units seems to have shot up in recent years.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_811982)
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Yes, for me it is the reasons they are doing it, and I’m not convinced it is for the honourable historical reasons that david rightly points out.

Taz
Taz (@guest_811934)
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

They also have squadrons without aircraft. 1700 & 1710 Naval Air Squadrons are support units.

Dean Johnson
Dean Johnson (@guest_811824)
1 month ago

Thank goodness this isn’t going to be a real Sqn, imagine the nickname for the staff posted onto it “The Bell Ends” another fantastic PR gaffe for the RAF.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_811832)
1 month ago

Paper SQN 🕵

Paul
Paul (@guest_811842)
1 month ago

Everyone losing their minds because the RAF is using squadron names for its units rather than thinking up some meaningless office speak acronym is very funny.

They attempt to utilise their own history and they get slammed, they use nonsense acronyms and probably get accused of “wokeism” by a GBeebies viewer. It just isn’t possible to win.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_811869)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

“GBeebies viewer”, that’s a new bit of woke backlash on me…

Top marks for imaginative insults Paul.

Paul
Paul (@guest_811883)
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Can’t claim it. It was coined the day it opened. As the whole station is a childish libertarian nonsense hissie fit I’ve always thought it spot on 🤣

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_811899)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

I thought you might come back with that, ah well, you can lead the woke to water, but you can’t stop it reading the Guardian🤣👍

Paul
Paul (@guest_811916)
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

A Newspaper? Who on earth reads newspapers anymore? I’ve not picked a Newspaper up in 30 odd years, pointless opinion rags.

Btw, what does woke actually mean these days? It’s banded about so freely as to have lost any impact or meaning, just like that other nonsense ‘snowflake’.

John
John (@guest_811926)
1 month ago

So presumably the transport of two idiots in braid all that way at taxpayers expense can be justified? For what?

Paul
Paul (@guest_811963)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

So the heads of two of the world’s premier air forces should stay at home with a nice cup of coco and not engage in defence and treaty diplomacy which is literally a massive part of their job? If you think this trip was just cutting a ribbon on a new Squadron then you don’t understand what these people do.

If they dialed it in via Zoom the Daily Mail would slam them for being Work at home work shy public servants. What do these people have to do to make the men who read this website happy?

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
John
John (@guest_811965)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

You made me laugh thanks. My point is, after being part of the circus for a long time, is these jollies are a waste of time. Its propaganda, full stop. And worse? It costs taxpayer money best spent elsewhere.

Paul
Paul (@guest_811966)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

So senior officers shouldn’t hold high level face to face meetings with key allies as well as up holding key traditions and history as part of esprit dC? All of which is literally their job. Where do suggest we spend the saved transatlantic air ticket? Maybe pay for a few extra reams of paper? Fill up a ministerial car a few times. Peanuts cost.

John
John (@guest_811968)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

You are a very triggered individual. Take an aspirin and lie down in a dark room. There, there.

Paul
Paul (@guest_811971)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Lol. Triggered! Propaganda! (Say woke, go on dare you🤣 then I can call bingo). I literally laugh at the comments on here every single day. Come for the defence news, stay for the hilarious angry frothing old pub man comments, every single time.

Every comment timeline on this site is a rich parody of the unhappiest blokes in the world who would find something to moan at if you offered them free beer.