Swift To Attack

About this Group

No 1 Group coordinates all of the RAF's frontline, fast-jet force elements and the Intelligence Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) work.

The 8,500 personnel in No 1 Group are ready to meet any emerging threats to the UK or UK interests around the globe, including:

  • protecting UK airspace 24/7 365 days a year with the Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft
  • continued air defence of the Falkland Islands
  • exercising with NATO partners

Achieving No 1 Group's mission

The Group has to ensure the RAF stays one step ahead in an uncertain world. It does this by:

  • evolving the RAF's tactics
  • realistic training and exercises in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the United States
  • exploiting the RAF's equipment

Lightning Force

The near term mission for the Lightning Force (LF) is to establish the foundations of Lightning capability by training the initial cadre of LF personnel and developing the process to generate and sustain the Force at RAF Marham. This is to bring the LF to initial operating capability.

Typhoon Force

To generate, operate and sustain effective Combat Air power in all tasked roles and environments.


To deliver battle-winning knowledge and effect to commanders at every level.

Air Mobility Force

The Air Mobility Force provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations and exercises, as well as air-to-air refuelling support for fast jet aircraft, both on operations and in support of UK Homeland Defence.

Air and Space Warfare Centre

Air Officer Commanding

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Flewin CBE MA BEng RAF

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Flewin was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1998. After pilot training, he was posted to the Jaguar and became a Qualified Weapons Instructor, completing several frontline tours including operational deployments to enforce the no-fly zone in Iraq. He joined the nascent Typhoon Force in 2005, taking on instructional and standardisation roles to support capability growth, and completed a tour as Executive Officer on XI Squadron. This was followed by operational deployments to the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre in Qatar and to command 903 Expeditionary Air Wing in support of Operation SHADER.

In 2012, he took command of 1 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Leuchars, leading its formal re-establishment as a frontline, combat-ready Typhoon squadron. Two joint roles followed: Chief of Staff within the Air Staff at the Ministry of Defence and Chief of Staff, Joint Effects at the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters, where he was appointed CBE in 2018.

He assumed command of RAF Coningsby in 2018, supporting a multitude of operational commitments in the UK and overseas, as well as displaying the Spitfire and Hurricane as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. A tour as Typhoon Force Commander followed with oversight of RAF Leeming, the Hawk T1 fleet and the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, in addition to the Typhoon Force at RAF Coningsby and Lossiemouth.

Upon completion of the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2021, Air Vice-Marshal Flewin was appointed to the newly formed UK Space Command. With responsibility for UK Space operations, planning and training, he oversaw tangible growth in space-based support to contingency planning and joint operations, including the rapid operationalisation of both sovereign and partnered capabilities. Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal in January 2023 he was appointed to be Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group.

Who makes this group

RAF Stations



Display Teams

Key dates

1918 - 1936

No 1 Group first formed to perform air defence in the South East of England against German zeppelin and Gotha Raids. It continued in the air defence role until renumbered as 6 Group in 1924 but was reformed the same day at a new location at which it operated until 1926. 1 Group was reactivated the next year, again in the air defence role which it continued until 1936 when it was again renumbered as 6 Group, 1 Group becoming a light bomber group.

1936 - 1945

As a light bomber group 1 Group went to France in 1939 as the Advanced Air Striking Force. An advance arm of Bomber Command rather than, as often thought, an army cooperation unit. The 1 Group designation was used briefly in 1939 by Bomber Command, but stood up permanently in June 1940 and has been active ever since. Largely based in North Yorkshire, the Group carried out more bombing raids than any other over the course of the War.

1946 - 1999

After the War, 1 Group stayed active. It took control of US loaned Thor ballistic missiles for a period between 1958 and 1963, and in 1968 transitioned in to Strike Command.


The Group again took command of air defence within the UK and responsibility for the RAF's offensive air power on operations.

Contact details

1 Group, RAF High Wycombe, Walter's Ash, HP14 4UE