20 Squadron provides training and support on Operations, in air picture and Tactical Control of air assets Air Command and Control. It falls under Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) within the Air C2 Force.

Deeds not words



The Squadron operates in 3 Flights:

A Flight - provides Combat Ready training for ASACS, the Command and Control Qualified Warfare Instructor Course, and Joint Service courses. 

B Flight - provides practical operational conversion training for all ASACS roles. 

Mission Support Flight (MSF) – provides Training and Assurance. MSF Synthetics section which provides support to the training of Weapons Controllers and Surveillance Operators.

The Squadron has operated mainly in India, the Far East and Germany, flying aircraft including the FE2D, Lysander, Hurricane, Hunter, Jaguar, Tornado and Harrier.

20 Squadron's mission is to train, develop and generate world class tactical air command and control operators for standing and contingent Defence Tasks; and support the execution of Joint Air Operations in the UK and overseas.


1915   Formed at Netheravon under the command of Major C Wilson and proceeded to France in January 1916 to become one of the highest scoring squadrons on the Western Front.

1917   Sergeant Thomas Mottershead, a pilot on 20 Squadron, became the only Sergeant pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

1919   Squadron moves to India, tasked to support the Army in the North West Frontier Province.

1929   Squadron provides 2 Westland Wapitis to provide airborne Wireless Telephony links for the Kabul airlift.

1942   Squadron moves to various locations in the North-East of India, re-equipping with Lysanders and operating against the Japanese invasion of Burma and supporting the Chindit expeditions.

1944   Having re-equipped with cannon and rocket-firing Hurricanes, the Squadron spent the rest of the war in Burma, attacking Japanese supply lines and bunkers in support of General Slim’s 14th Army.

1951   Established in Germany as a day Fighter-Bomber squadron.

1961   Moved to RAF Tengah, Singapore, as part of the Far East Air Force.  Provided air defence, reconnaissance and attack during the Confrontation in Borneo.

1971   Reformed as a Strike / Attack squadron in Germany, flying the Jaguar, Harrier and Tornado GR1.

1991   Flew in Operation Granby, bringing the new ALARM missile into operational service.

1992   Assumed the role of the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Wittering.

2010   Disbanded at RAF Wittering.

2021   Re-established as the Air Surveillance and Control System’s Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Boulmer.


1914 – 1918   Western Front

1916*   Somme

1917*   Arras

1917*   Ypres

1918*   Somme

1918   Lys

1918   Hindenburg Line

1919 – 1920   Mahsud

1919 – 1925   Waziristan

1927   Mohmand

1930 – 1931   North-West Frontier

1933   Mohmand

1935 – 1939   North-West Frontier

1943 – 1944*   North Burma

1943 – 1944*   Arakan

1944*   Manipur

1944 – 1945*   Burma

1991   Gulf

*Honours marked with an asterisk are emblazoned on the Squadron’s Standards.