The Royal Air Force 2300AD
Order of Battle, 2303
The RAF is divided into operational Commands, each of which has a specific role to cover. A varying number of squadrons are then assigned to each Command to fulfil its mission. The RAF has one permanent overseas unit, No.4 Group, which is tasked with the defence of Britain's South Atlantic territories as well as several off-world Groups. There are also a number of Joint Tactical Air Groups which are independent expeditionary air units formed from seconded Royal Navy and RAF Squadrons. These are formed predominantly for off-world service and three of these have seen action in the Kafer War. However the RAF remains a service whose main effort is on Earth.
Thanks to David Gillon, Bryn Monnery and Peter Grining for feedback and ideas.
Fighter Command operates in support of the RAF's main role. The defence of the British Isles. Fighter Command is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom's air space, an area which is defined rather hazily. This leads to the occasional dispute with Britain's neighbours. Fighter Command has two main aircraft types, Fury F.3 fighters and Lightning F.5 interceptors. It also has four squadrons of Gladiator DF.5 unmanned fighters for point defence duties.
The Fury aircraft protect the south of the country, where their greater agility is expected to be more use. The Lightning aircraft are tasked for long range protection across the North Sea and out into the Atlantic. The Gladiators are retained for the defence of airfields and other key points. Guardian AEW aircraft in combination with Vulcan AEW drones direct the interceptors, whilst tankers from Transport Command provide air-to-air refuelling. The Furies and Lightnings have a secondary ASAT role, being able to launch orbital interdiction weaponry. Fighter Command also has three static long range SAM/Rapid Fire Laser squadrons which can tackle a range of threats including missile attacks and orbital strikes.
Fighter Command can be reinforced by aircraft from Strike Command or Fleet Air Arm. The latter is routine when Carrier Air Wings are ashore in the United Kingdom. Currently 56 Squadron is serving with JTAG-3 on New Africa.
Squadron, (Gladiator DF.5, 18 aircraft) RAF Honington, England
(Fury F.3) RAF Finningley, England
Squadron, (Lightning F.5) RAF Leeming, England
(Guardian AEW.1) RAF Waddington, England
Squadron, (Laser/Missile Defence) Location classified
Wing, RAF Finningley, England
Squadron, (Lightning F.5) 4 Group, Falkland Islands
Strike Command provides air combat support to the British Army. It has a mixture of Fury F.3 and Tempest GR.1 aircraft as well as Guardian AEW control aircraft. Strike Command is often called upon to deploy aircraft with the JTAGs. 3 and 4 Squadrons and a detachment from 8 Squadron saw action on Beta Canum with JTAG-2 during the Invasion and have since returned to Earth. Strike Command is also on high readiness to reinforce No.4 Group in the South Atlantic if tensions with Argentina rise again.
Currently 1, 20 and 100 Squadrons are deployed with the JTAGs on New Africa along with a detachment from 51 Squadron. 6 Squadron is deployed to New Cornwall on Joi. Several pilots from Strike Command have been seconded to the air forces of Alicia and New Africa. Due to the pace of operations Strike Command is seriously understrength in the British Isles and should a crisis arise on Earth much of the burden would fall upon the RN.
Squadron, (Tempest GR.1) RAF Wittering, England
(Guardian AEW. 1, 8 aircraft) RAF Waddington, England (Elements
with 4 Group)
(Fury F.3) RAF Coningsby, England
Wing, RAF Marham, England
Wing JTAG-4, New Africa
Bomber Command is tasked with British strategic force projection around the world, while the Royal Navy supplies tactical force projection from its carrier fleet. Bomber Commands aircraft carry a range of munitions from conventional cruise missiles to tactical nuclear devices. In addition Bomber Command has a range of assets for strategic reconnaissance to supplement the capabilities of the wide range of satellites in British service.
Bomber Command's main aircraft are the Vanguard B.2 and the Mosquito RB.1. It also uses converted Artemis R.1 for photographic reconnaissance and Artemis R.2 for electronic and signals intelligence gathering purposes. A detachment of Mosquitos of 618 Squadron operated to great effect on New Africa during the Invasion, these have been replaced by a detachment from 617 Squadron.
No.8 (Pathfinder) Group
Squadron, (Mosquito RB.1) RAF Scampton, England (Elements New
Squadron, (Vanguard B.2) RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland
(1 PRU) Squadron, (Artemis R.1 3 aircraft, Artemis R.2 6 aircraft)
RAF Waddington, England
Wing, RAF Scampton, England
Coastal Command is in charge of the maritime protection of the United Kingdom. As such its primary assets are its Artemis MRS.3 aircraft that can detect, identify and destroy a whole range of surface and sub-surface targets as well as being able to protect itself from individual roving aircraft. Artemis crews are normally joint crews, with RN personnel serving alongside their RAF counterparts. Four squadrons are deployed around the British Isles, one squadron is deployed in the South Atlantic and one squadron provides detachments to Hong Kong, Indian Ocean, Gibraltar and other locations.
In addition the RAF provides half of the United Kingdom's Search and Rescue assets with its Osprey R.1 tilt-rotor craft. In times of emergency these craft can also perform anti-submarine warfare tasks. 207 Squadron is tasked with being Coastal Command's SAR reserve, however it also has the role of Combat Search and Rescue and detachments from 207 accompany Strike Command aircraft when on deployment.
(Artemis MRS.3) RAF Kinloss, Scotland
(Artemis MRS.3) RAF Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands
(Osprey R.1) RAF St. Mawgan, England
Wing, RAF Kinloss, Scotland
Transport Command provides British forces with a range of services. The bulk of the force is dedicated to airlift of British forces, both at a tactical and strategic level. The perennial Atlas C.5 is the in-theatre workhorse, whilst the heavy Anglo-French SLA (Strategic Lift Aircraft) Constellation equips three squadrons of aircraft. A further squadron is equipped with converted Lincoln airliners for comfortable movement of personnel and cargo.
Transport Command also controls the Royal Air Force's tanker fleet. These assets are normally deployed to the other Commands especially Fighter and Bomber Commands. Manned tanker aircraft are used in support of Bomber Command, whilst drones are used for more routine tasks. Strike Command operates tactically in support of the Army and so rarely requires tanker support.
Lastly there are two VIP transport squadrons. 32 (Royal) Squadron is responsible for the air transport of members of the Royal Family, as such it has a range of aircraft from helicopters, to business jets to a Swift Transatmospheric cruiser. It is not uncommon for the Royals to take the controls of these aircraft themselves.18 Squadron performs the same role for members of the government and senior military officers from all the services, although in slightly less plush surroundings.
(Atlas C.5) RAF Mount Pleasant, England
(Constellation C.1) RAF Lyneham, England
(Lincoln K.1) RAF Brize Norton, England
Royal) Squadron, (VIP aircraft) RAF Northholt, England
Wing, RAF Lyneham, England
Training Command has a vital function within the RAF for both flight and tactical training as well as ensuring pilots transfer on to new aircraft types successfully. Joint Basic Flight Training for RAF and RN flight crew takes place on propeller driven aircraft at No.1 and No.2 Flight Training Schools at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Cranwell. Fast jet training is conducted at No.3 FTS at RAF Valley in Wales. Multi-engine training is undertaken by No.4 FTS also at RAF Cranwell. Search and rescue training is conducted at Fleet Air Arm training establishments. It also has oversight of RAF's University and air experience units and the Commonwealth Flight Testing Facility .
Training Command also has responsibility for ensuring that pilots are trained in the use of the aircraft they will be flying at their squadrons. This is the responsibility of the Operational Conversion Units, which are in most circumstances co-located with operational squadrons. In time of war the OCU form an extra reserve of planes and aircraft will be flown by the instructors.
The final task of training command is in the operational training of active duty squadrons. This is conducted in three places; Canada, Brazil and Wellon. Training at these locations is conducted by multi-type British squadrons in the aggressor role as well as with the help of local forces.
Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, England
(Lightning F.5 12 aircraft) RAF Leeming, England
OCU (Mosquito RB.1 4 aircraft) RAF Scampton, England
Squadron, Goose Bay, Canada
The RAF has responsibility for the UK's Anti-satellite and anti-ballistic missile defences, this includes the satellite and radar tracking resources required to target these objectives. The main weapon are the Phoenix ASAT missiles controlled by three Squadrons of the RAF Regiment. Two of these squadrons are located at silos across the British Isles, the third squadron is equipped with mobile launchers which can be deployed virtually anywhere.
A final responsibility of Orbital Command is for orbital lift provided for by two squadrons of Landers. Although the Royal Space Corps has the primary responsibility for this role the RAF retains some capability.
No.21 (RAF Regiment) Group
(Pheonix ASAT) RAF Honigton, England
(Fife IC.2) RAF Lyneham, England
Defence Command is responsible for the defence of RAF bases, both permanent and temporary facilities. The Command is manned primarily by airman-soldiers of the RAF Regiment and reservists of the RAuxAF Regiment. These are responsible for last ditch close in air defence of the bases and the defence of them on the ground. The Command also has oversight of RAF Police and fire services as well as RAF Regiment specialist units.
No.34 (RAF Regiment) Group
(Field Wing) RAF Honington, England
(Field Wing) RAF Catterick, England
No.30 (RAuxAF Regiment) Group
(Field Wing) RAF Honington, England
(Field Wing) RAF Wittering, England
No.33 (RAF Regiment) Group
(Special Duties) RAF Uxbridge, England
No.31 (RAF Regiment) Group
(Air Defence) RAF Honington, England
(Air Defence) RAF Catterick, England
(RAuxAF Regiment), (Air Defence) RAF Catterick, England
4 Group has the task of defending the airspace of the British South Atlantic Territories and providing air support to local British Army forces. It operates in conjunction with the carrier air groups of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Fleet. 4 Group concentrates on the provision of air defence to the Falklands and air support to the isolated 49th Armoured Group which garrisons the Antarctic areas. There are also detachments for ASW, refuelling and troop movement but these operate under different chains of command. The Group is manned by squadrons detached in rotation from the various Commands.
(Guardian AEW.1 4 aircraft) RAF Mount Pleasant, Falklands Islands
22 Group is located in New Africa on Beta Canum-4. It is currently responsible for the administrative support of RAF and RN units comprising JTAG-3 and JTAG-4.
23 Group is based in Alicia on Beowulf. The Group currently has no operational squadrons under command, however it is responsible for supplying RAF units further up the French Arm.
24 Group is the RAF's presence on Crater. It is a small HQ with no major assets.
This Group is based on Joi in the colony of New Cornwall. It is a small group but has taken on an overview role covering civil aviation as well as its own assets. The Group has requested reinforcement but it has been bottom of the RAF's list of priorities. It relies on aviation assets from the neighbouring Azanian colony.
35 Group is the RAF's presence in Wellon on the world of Tirane. It commands a number of squadrons, most of which are dedicated to the training role with only 41 Squadron in an operational role. The reserve squadrons are holding units for aircraft which are manned by squadrons rotating out from Earth to training at the Joint Air Warfare Centre.
Squadron, (Tempest GR.1) RAF St. Peters, Wellon
Copyright 2009, D Hebditch