Two heads are better than one

About this Group

The RAF’s operational headquarters in the Middle East. 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG) is commanded by an RAF Air Commodore who acts as the Air Component Commander and Air Officer Commanding 83 EAG. He is responsible to the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters for the control and direction of 4 Expeditionary Air Wings (EAWs) supporting Operations Kipion and Shader as well as the delivery of UK national and Defence objectives across the Middle East. 83 EAG’s area of responsibility extends from the Southern end of the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean, and encompasses numerous relationships and alliances across the region.

The combined efforts of HQ 83 EAG, its EAWs and Force Elements are pivotal in combatting Daesh. They have performed to the highest of standards across a huge variety of Defence missions from Defence Engagement to Air Combat. Nevertheless, 83 EAG are ready to secure Daesh’s lasting defeat and help legitimate local authorities build a stable, prosperous and united future for communities in both Iraq and Syria. Adaptable, capable and operationally focused, 83 EAG stands ready to deliver world class air power wherever and whenever it is required to meet the challenges of the future.

Air Officer Commanding

Air Commodore Mark Farrell MA BA(Hons) RAF

Beginning with the Tornado F3 and later the GR4, Air Commodore Mark Farrell has flown in a wide range of operational theatres in the Middle East and worldwide including support of Operations BOLTON and RESINATE, and the Falkland Islands.  During a tour on 13 Squadron he undertook further deployments overseas, including Operation TELIC in Iraq.

Promoted to Group Captain in July 2016, Mark undertook an overseas operational tour with the United States Air Force.  On his return, he embarked upon a 3-year appointment in MOD before being selected to attend the Higher Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham.  This was followed by a short tour in 11 Group at HQ Air Command prior to promotion to Air Commodore.

He has been appointed as Air Officer Commanding Number 83 Expeditionary Air Group, and the UK Air Component Commander from September 2021, responsible for 4 Expeditionary Air Wings throughout the Middle East.

Who makes this group


Key dates

1943 - 1946

Formed as part of the Allied Second Tactical Air Force and composed of 10 Wings. The group was created to provide air support to the allied landings in Normandy in 1944, D-Day, and afterwards. The group supported the allied armies through the campaign in North West Europe up until the end of hostilities. Before being absorbed in to 84 Group after the War.


1952 - 1958

Reformed to cover Germany's southern area during the Cold War, again within the Second Tactical Air Force. Flying jet fighters, reconnaissance aircraft and ground attack aircraft comprising five Wings across fourteen Squadrons. It was disbanded again prior to the creation of RAF Germany in 1959.

2006 - Present

Formed on 1 April from the UK air component HQ in the Middle East at Al Udeid, Qatar to provide command and control to the 4 Wings in its area of responsibility.