7644 Squadron deploy around the world planning and delivering media operations as part of national and coalition operations. The Squadron provides media and campaign support in the UK and overseas to the RAF and wider UK Defence. Roles include Media Operations Officers, Media Escorts, Social Media Specialists, Event Planners and Media Trainers as well as Mobile News Teams including Journalists, Reporters, Photographers and Videographers. Personnel are recruited nationally and join either 7644 Squadron at RAF Halton, or are based in detached flights with RAuxAF squadrons throughout the UK.

Always the truth



According to A H Narracott in his book ‘War News Had Wings’, the earliest evidence of putting journalists into RAF uniform dates back to September 1938 when a senior civil servant by the name of Charles Pennycook Robertson, the Press and Publicity Officer at the Air Ministry, saw the need – in the light of imminent conflict with Germany – to have uniformed correspondents at the front line.

Robertson thought the best way to collect news of what the Air Force was doing was to have trained journalists at the front. He decided that short service commissions as R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve Officers were to be offered to some of Fleet Street’s finest, including H.E. Bates, R. F. Delderfield and Hector Bollitho. These would then be sent out to various commands at home and overseas, particularly France, as Service Press Officers attached to the Advanced Air Striking Force.

Robertson wanted to get the scheme underway in peace time to help breakdown the natural opposition of commanding officers to having ‘journalists-come-officers’ in their midst and to give the Service Press Officers an idea of how the RAF worked. With some wrangling the idea was finally accepted.

On 14th September 1939 four newly commissioned officers set out from RAF Heston for northern France to land at Le Bourget.

The scheme worked well. Without it the public would have been left in ignorance of the valiant deeds performed by the RAF in those early days of the war. However, there were muddles over censorship and accommodation, and not least the difficulties caused by the rapidly-advancing German army.

After the war the RAF recognised the benefits of maintaining a small number of journalists in uniform. These PR specialists served as part of 7802 Flight Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and then as 7630 (Intelligence) Flt.

In 1981 the PR element of 7630 Flt transferred to the newly formed 7644 Flight of the RAFVR, which, on 5 April 1997, became No. 7644(VR) Public Relations Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

In 2007 the Squadron celebrated its 25th Anniversary by laying a slate badge in the floor of the RAF Church: St Clement Danes in London.

At this time 7644(VR) Squadron was the smallest Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron with only 19 established officers.

To date the Squadron has been involved in every crisis and major exercise in recent years.

The Squadron motto is ‘vérité a jamais’ which translated means ‘the truth always’.


1991  Op Granby (Kuwait)

1993 – 1995  Op Deny Flight (Former Yugoslavia)

1995  Op Deliberate Force (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

1999  Op Agricola (Kosovo)

1999  Op Allied Force (Former Yugoslavia)

2000  Op Bolton (Iraq)

2001  Op Barras (Sierra Leone)

2001  Op Resinate South (Iraq)

2001  Joint Force (Bosnia)

2001  Op Veritas (Afghanistan)

2002 – 2014  Op Herrick (Afghanistan)

2002  Op Ulysses (Mediterranean)

2003 – 2009  Op Telic (Iraq)

2004  Op Highbrow (Lebanon)

2009 – 2014  Op Kipion (Middle East)

2011  Op Ellamy (Libya)

2013  Op Newcombe (Mali)

2013  Op Patwin (Philippines)

2014 – 2017  Op Shader (Iraq)

2014  Op Azotize (Lithuania)

2014 – 2015  Op Gritrock (West Africa)

2015 – 2016  Op Azotize (Estonia)

2017  Op Biloxi (Romania)

2017  Op Ruman (Caribbean)

2019  Op Azotize (Estonia)

2019  Op Masterer (Iceland)

Connect with 7644 Squadron RAuxAF