RAF Benson News

28 Squadron re-awarded historic 'Army Cooperation' designation

28 Squadron is delighted to confirm that they have been re-authorised to use their “Army Cooperation” designation.  When the Squadron initially stood up as the Puma and Chinook Operational Conversion Unit in 2015, they held a “28 (Reserve) Squadron” designation.  However, owing to their continued support to the British Army, they have been re-awarded their historic designation as 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, also known as 28 (AC) Squadron.

The 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron badge

Wing Commander Hannah Bishop, their Officer Commanding explained:

“It may only be two words but the historical significance of the “Army Cooperation” designation is never overlooked by 28 Squadron.  We’re extremely proud of our heritage and we’re delighted that the continued use of our “AC” has been approved. 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron will continue to provide outstanding support to the British Army in the UK and overseas while training all the future generations of Support Helicopter aircrew.”

28 Squadron was first authorised to use the (AC) designation in 1920 when the Squadron was based at RAF Ambala in India flying the Bristol F2b in an Army Support role.  The Squadron remained in the region flying a variety of aircraft before moving to the Far East in 1949 to start a long association with Hong Kong.  In 1997 they returned to the UK and have been based at RAF Benson since then, firstly flying the Merlin Mk 3 and Mk 3A helicopters and more recently the Puma Mk2 and Chinook HC6A.

Soldiers from 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment standing under a hovering Chinook while they hook a vehicle underneath for carriage

Throughout the long and illustrious history, 28 (AC) Squadron has worked closely with and in support of the British Army.  Just this week they were working alongside 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment to support mutual under-slung load training.  Alongside training future generations of Support Helicopter aircrew, personnel from 28 (AC) Squadron still routinely support operations around the world including Operation NEWCOMBE in Mali.

As a mark of respect for the enduring support that 28 (AC) Squadron provided the 48th Gurkha Infantry Brigade in Hong Kong, permission was granted for members of the squadron to wear the crossed Kukri emblem.  This is still proudly worn by members of 28 (AC) Squadron today.

A soldier from 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment stands on top of a netted load ready to hook it under the approaching Chinook, which can be seen with its lights on as it approaches from the ground

Learn more about 28 Squadron and their history here: https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/squadrons/28-squadron/

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