Home Air Royal Air Force retires Sentinel R1 aircraft, disbands V(AC) Squadron

Royal Air Force retires Sentinel R1 aircraft, disbands V(AC) Squadron

No. 5 Squadron disbandment ceremony
Photo: Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force has disbanded V (AC) Squadron following the withdrawal of the Sentinel R1 aircraft from RAF service.

The squadron has been operating the Sentinel R1 as part of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) force based at RAF Waddington.

No. 5 Squadron (V (AC)) was first formed in 1913 and has a rich history that includes service during both World Wars, and the Gulf War. The squadron has operated aircraft such as the Avro 504, Lightning F6 and Tornado F3 and has been awarded battle honors from all over the World.

In recent years since the Squadron began operating the Sentinel R1, the Squadron has been committed to multiple operations including Op Shader in the Middle East and Op Ellamy in Libya. Squadron aircraft have also been used to directly assist civilian authorities in the UK delivering information to decision makers across government.

Photo: Royal Air Force

As the squadron disbands, the military personnel will be posted to new roles throughout the RAF.

The squadron has called RAF Waddington home for a great number of years, something the Station Commander, Group Captain Steve Kilvington reflected on.

“The Sentinel R1 of V(AC) Squadron has been a familiar sight here at RAF Waddington for the past 14 years, during which time it has delivered exceptional support to numerous operations across the globe,” Kilvington commented.

“Whether tackling insurgency in the Middle East or supporting NATO on Europe’s flanks, the Squadron’s output has truly epitomised the Whole Force concept.”