London—The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is set to lose some of its organic aviation capability.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the 657 Squadron of the Army Air Corps (AAC) will be disbanded in 2018. Under this development, the SAS, SBS, and their support elements will be down a flight of 12 Lynx Mk9A helicopters.
The Squadron was scheduled to replace the ageing Lynxes with the SOF variant of the Wildcat AH.1, but a shortage of funds caused a change of plans.
Based in Oldham, 657 Sq., belongs to the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW), an equivalent of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC). The unit traces its history back to the Second World War (it flew airplanes, then). In 2000, two helicopters from the Squadron participated in Operation Barras, a successful SAS hostage rescue in Sierra Leone.