RSAF Patch da Sqn Royal Saudi Air Force 3 Squadron F 5 Taif
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RSAF Patch da Sqn Royal Saudi Air Force 3 Squadron F 5 Taif

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  • Item #: 1P 41SA 1SAF 01SQN 2OP 0003SQ 01
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RSAF Patch Royal Saudi Air Force 3 Squadron F 5E Tiger II Freedom Fighter Taif Air Base 1975 Fully Embroidered merrowed edge 105mm by 78mm four and one sixteenth inches by three and one sixteenth inches.

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3 Squadron was established at Jeddah Air Base in 1954 to operate nine B 26B Invader aircraft purchased from the US with the first delivered in February 1954 and the last in June 1955 tasked with light bomber ground attack operations. Although the purchase of the aircraft was assisted by the USMTM they were not included for support under the Mutual Defence Agreement. RSAF had initial problems obtaining qualified pilots and the civilian maintenance contractors based at Jeddah AB were not well trained and spare parts and general serviceability problems greatly increased from 1957. With the new USMTM agreement F 86 Sabre jet aircraft were delivered and were able to undertake ground attack operations as well as their primary role of fighter interception. When a dispute with Yemen flared up in 1962 Egypt provided reinforcements for the Yemini Air Force including Mig 17 fighter jets and Il 28 Beagle jet bombers which left RSAFs F 86 Sabre fighters and B 26 Invader bombers outclassed with air defence and ground attack operation severely compromised. The B 26 Invaders were rarely used and 3 Squadron inactivated with the last Invader retiring in 1964.

 

3 Squadron was reactivated in 1975 at Taif Air Base equipped with F 5E Tiger aircraft from Peace Hawk II programme RSAFs second F 5 Squadron after 15 Squadron at Khamis Mushayt AB and was tasked with F 5E pilot conversion training as the F 5E Conversion Unit and in addition trained aircrew for reconnaissance operations utilising F5 Es with F 5A recce camera nose pods. The Squadron was assisted by the United States Military Training Mission detachment at Taif including the provision of USAF instructor pilots and visiting aggressor pilots for training on Soviet aerial tactics and added three F 5F Tiger two seater aircraft to its fleet.

 

3 Sqn pilots began Dissimilar Air Combat training against RSAF Lightning aircraft and regularly deployed with 10 Squadron to Tabuk for exercises increasing in 1981. Squadron personnel participated in Red Flag 81 1 at Nellis AFB Nevada with the RSAF deployment using four F 5Bs six F 5Es and two F 5Fs borrowed from USAF 425 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron with its own ground personnel assisting the deployments 12 pilots carrying out 135 of the planned 140 sorties. The Squadron added ten RF 5E Tigereye reconnaissance aircraft in 1982 which replaced the F 5Es with F 5A recce camera nose pods.

 

Saudi Arabian personnel took over responsibility for depot level airframe and avionics maintenance at Taif from US contractors by 1983. The Squadron received a number of F 5Bs and Es from 7 Squadron when it converted from F 5Es to Tornado IDS aircraft in July 1986. Taif Squadrons received AGM 65A and AGM 65B missiles providing a strike attack capability. The Squadron deployed assets to Tabuk following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 taking part in combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.

 

The Squadrons emblem was changed in 1992 when RSAF decided to standardise unit logos and to remove the depictions of living creatures on RSAF emblems as not in accordance with Islamic scripture. Whilst Desert Storm successfully ejected the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and degraded Iraqs military capability the Squadron deployed TDY assets for border operations continued during the 1990s with Operation Southern Watch and the No Fly Zone.

 

Taif AB was redesignated King Fahd Air Base in 1999 when all RSAF air bases were named after members of the Saudi Royal family and RSAF introduced its Wing system to control and support base Squadrons with 2 Wing established at KFAB.

 

3 Squadron was inactivated on 24 October 1999 as part of the RSAF F 5 phase down.

 

3 Squadron was reactivated on 8 November 2008 at King Fahd AB Taif assigned to 2 Wing to be equipped with Typhoon F 2 and T 3 aircraft as the RSAFs first Typhoon Squadron tasked with training all Typhoon pilots. The first Typhoon T 51 arrived on 23 June 2009 and the Squadron became the Operational Conversion Unit commencing flying operations in mid October 2009 with the first four aircrafts delivered followed by eight originally destined for 10 Squadron but diverted to 3 Squadron together with the remaining first 24 Typhoon aircraft.

 

With contracts for British aircraft equipment and training and the use of ex Royal Air Force pilots and personnel in the 1950s and 1960s Squadrons adopted unit flying suit patches based on RAF crest design with a central logo within a frame indented each side for the Squadron number and with a motto in scroll below and a Royal crown above. Crest patches were mainly manufactured in Britain with a number made by US manufacturers. With the contracts for US aircraft and training USAF style circular and shield shaped patches with new logos replaced crest patches in the mid 1970s and early 1980s with new unit patches provided by US aircraft manufacturers particularly for F 15 Squadrons. Patches changed again in the early 1990s when RSAF decided to standardise unit logos and to replace depictions of living creatures on RSAF emblems with stylised designs.

 

This patch dates from 1975.

 

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