A squadron in the air force, army aviation, or navy aviation is a group of military aircraft and their aircrews, normally of the same kind, with 12 to 24 aircraft, occasionally separated into three or four flights, depending on the aircraft type and air force. In World War II most squadrons were formed from a number of aircraft groups that worked together as a unit. Today's squadrons usually include a mix of aircraft types (for example, fighter jets, attack planes, and transport planes) provided by several countries or companies.
In World War I, a squadron was a group of two or more airplanes operated as a single unit for purposes of leadership, coordination, and security. They usually consisted of one service flying machine supplemented by one or more observation machines. A squadron could also be defined as a group of pilots who fly together often under command of a leader. This latter definition would include those pilots who did not serve on aircraft because they had no need to do so to perform their duties.
In World War II, a squadron was again a group of two or more aircraft operated as a single unit for purposes of leadership, coordination, and security.
A squadron is a military unit that consists of a defined number of aircraft, pilots, ground crew, and maintenance professionals in the case of a flying squadron. Fighter squadrons in the IAF normally have 18 operationally deployed aircraft, with three aircraft held in reserve. Bomber squadrons carry out strategic bombing missions, while fighter-bomber squadrons perform both strategic and tactical missions.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) was formed on 15th February 1947, under the command of an air marshal. It is one of the largest air forces in the world by number of personnel and aircraft, but it has never been involved in a full-scale war. However, in 1971, it did lead operations during the Indo-Pakistani War when Pakistani aircraft attacked Indian positions across the border without declaring war. In 1997, the IAF took part in Operation Desert Fox - a series of airstrikes against Iraq during its invasion of Kuwait.
In 2009, the IAF carried out strikes in Pakistan's Balochistan province in response to attacks on two nuclear facilities there. In addition, it provides support to civil authorities during natural disasters.
The IAF currently has six active duty groups, four training units, and one airborne division with five more planned for completion by 2022. These will bring the force total to 120,000 personnel.
Currently, there are seven regular squadrons in the IAF.
A squadron, which means "square" in Latin, is the Air Force's basic fighting structure. Squadrons, which are typically led by a lieutenant colonel, range in size from 30 to 500 people, depending on the task. Typically, fighter units are allocated 18–24 aircraft. Combat support squadrons provide operational assistance to combat forces.
In the U.S. Air Force, a fighter squadron is usually designated by its manpower capacity: e.g., "36 fighter squadron". There are also squadrons of aircraft carriers, tankers, transports, and fighters. Although all of these squadrons play an important role in our defense strategy, only fighter squadrons qualify as true battle groups.
Fighter squadrons are generally divided into three flights with six aircraft in each flight. A commander, who is usually a captain or major, leads one flight while a first lieutenant or second lieutenant leads the other two flights. A first sergeant is assigned to each flight for administrative duties. A squadron operations officer (op-oe) manages the maintenance department for the squadron.
A typical mission for a fighter squadron is to protect territory from enemy attack or engage enemies head-on. This may include flying air patrols, engaging targets of opportunity, or performing strike missions. Fighter squadrons can be deployed anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.
Navy aviation squadrons are made up of a number of aircraft (from four to a dozen), the officers who fly them, the officers and sailors who maintain them, and administrative support officers and sailors. A squadron is responsible for conducting training missions for new pilots, dropping bombs on target ships, providing air cover for naval vessels at sea, and other tasks required of an effective flying force.
There are two types of naval aviation squadrons: combat units and non-combat units. Combat units are full-time flights that fight aboard Navy aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and other military vessels. Non-combat units are usually part-time flights that provide emergency relief services or perform other tasks as requested by naval commanders.
Each combat unit in the U.S. Navy is assigned a flight officer position that must be filled by a qualified pilot. These positions are designated as first lieutenant or sublieutenant, depending on the age of the applicant. Young applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 years old may be commissioned as ensigns. Those who are older than 20 but not yet 21 can apply to have their commission delayed one year by including a letter after their name indicating their date of birth. All others are considered adults and are given lieutenant commissions by default.
An air force squadron is smaller than a group and larger than a flight in the basic chain of command. Squadron definitions A naval unit that is separated from the fleet for a specific duty. Escadrille refers to a military aviation unit, especially one trained to perform a particular role.
The term "squadron" comes from the Latin word "quadrans," meaning quarter. In military usage, a squadron is a subunit of a wing or army corps responsible for performing a specific task. Today, squadrons are usually formed by combining officers and NCOs from one branch of an armed service with those from another. However, during World War II, when a large number of pilots were needed, all officers not on active duty in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps were assigned to civilian jobs to free up the military for combat duties. There were no longer any quartermasters, supply officers, or other staff members required to manage the affairs of a squadron, so they were designated as squadsrons.
In the United States Air Force, a squadron is made up of between 31 and 51 aircraft. In most cases, it is commanded by a colonel or major general officer, although a lieutenant colonel or colonel can also be given this rank. A squadron can also be led by a full bird colonel or higher-ranking officer if they have additional staff responsibilities.