By Guy Warner

This can be the seventieth Anniversary 12 months of 656 Squadron, which first shaped on thirty first December 1942. Over the intervening years the Squadron has served with nice contrast in India, Burma, Java, Malaya, Borneo, Hong Kong, the united kingdom, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Kosovo and, such a lot lately, in Afghanistan. this is often 656’s tale, informed in complete and for the 1st time.

656 Squadron’s tale is a various one, characterised by way of energetic deployment in a various variety of wartime theaters. It used to be the one Air commentary submit (AOP) squadron to serve with the “Forgotten Army”, 14th military less than normal Sir invoice slender in Burma and, after the profitable end of this crusade, the Squadron used to be published to Malaya, from the place it took half within the little identified yet fierce crusade countering separatists in Java. This was once through the lengthy crusade opposed to chinese language communist terrorists in Malaya (Malayan Emergency). moreover, many individuals of the Squadron served within the Korean conflict. as a result there has been significant involvement within the “Confrontation” with Indonesia in Borneo and policing and inner defense paintings in Hong Kong. Following its go back to the united kingdom in 1979, there have been deployments on energetic provider to Rhodesia, the Falkland Islands (both in the course of and after the struggle) and Bosnia and Kosovo.

In 2001 the Squadron used to be selected to be the Army’s first Apache assault Helicopter Squadron, and has now undertaken 3 operational excursions in Afghanistan. total it has gathered good over 200,000 operational flying hours making it the main operational squadron within the whole heritage of military air war. It used to be additionally, after all, so much lately on energetic carrier as a sea-based strike unit over the skies of Libya.

It is a particularly outstanding proven fact that the Squadron, and certainly the British military, have either come complete circle; directing fireplace from the air in 1944, to being the artillery within the air, directed from the floor in 2011.

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Extra resources for From Auster to Apache: The History of 656 Squadron RAF/ACC 1942-2012

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Gayler agreed to press the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to order Option IV. 65 The evacuation was on. As Air America Hueys lifted off and buses began to roll, the last vestiges of order vanished from the streets of Saigon, and Communist forces began to infiltrate the city. The plan called for the assembly to begin before dawn, when the streets were empty. As it happened, the < previous page page_21 next page > < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 bus convoys were mobbed. One was broken up by dissident South Vietnamese military elements and abandoned; others were diverted to the embassy compound, served only by two constricted helicopter pads and never intended as a mass evacuation point.

It was 1421 hours local time in the Gulf of Siam. , it was 0321. S. 3 The news quickly worked its way up the chain of command. At twenty to eight in the morning eastern daylight time, President Gerald Ford was notified by Lt. Gen. 4 Secretary of State and national security adviser Henry Kissinger was informed of events in the Gulf of Siam at about the same < previous page page_26 next page > < previous page page_27 next page > Page 27 time. He immediately called the president. Just over six hours had elapsed since the Mayaguez transmitted her SOS.

Although such techniques produce useful planning data and lay out the physical parameters of weapons effectiveness, they cannot predict the outcome of an engagement. Such tools can, if used properly, help to delineate the outer limits of feasibilityan important considerationbut they can do no more than that. Once opposing forces come into contact, history clearly demonstrates the importance of intangible and unquantifiable variables such as leadership, discipline, training, unit cohesion, and esprit de corps in determining the outcome.

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