RSAF Patch da Sqn Royal Saudi Air Force 6 Squadron F 15C Eagle b
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RSAF Patch da Sqn Royal Saudi Air Force 6 Squadron F 15C Eagle b

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  • Item #: 1P 41SA 1SAF 01SQN 2OP 0006SQ 05
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RSAF Saudi Arabia Royal Saudi Air Force 6 Squadron F 15C D Eagle Khamis Mushayt Air Base 1988 Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 93mm three and eleven sixteenth inches diameter.

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Squadron History  

The 1966 Magic Carpet contract between Saudi Arabia and the UK was to enable RSAF to prevent incursions by Egyptian Mig fighters across Saudi Arabia and insurgent and Egyptian air to ground attacks on Saudi villages bordering Yemen in support of Egyptian troops fighting on the Republican insurgency side during the civil war in Yemen with Saudi Arabia supporting the Royalist side. Magic Carpet provided a force of six ex RAF Lightning aircraft four upgraded F 2s redesignated T 52 and two upgraded T 4 trainers redesignated T 54 together with four F 60 and two T 70 two seat trainer Hunter aircraft delivered to Riyadh Air Base in October 1966 with logistic support and personnel including 12 operational pilots provided by Airwork Ltd. The Magic Carpet force relocated to Taif Air Base for final work up before moving to its operational base Khamis Mushayt AB near the Yemen border in early 1967 and was redesignated No 6 Squadron Royal Saudi Air Force. 6 Squadron Lightning Flight and Hunter Flight interception patrols brought an almost immediate end to Egyptian incursions into Saudi airspace and ground attack reconnaissance missions greatly reduced border incursions although one Hunter was lost in combat with Egyptian Air Force in 1967. The Magic Carpet contract ended on 31 March 1968 with administrative and technical personnel from Pakistan taking over from Airwork Ltd but the Hunter Flight returned to Airwork Ltd when it became clear that the Pakistan personnel could not provide the service.

6 Squadron added Saudi ordered Lightning F 53 fighter bombers and Lightning T 55 two seat fighter bomber and training aircraft to its fleet under the Magic Palm contact commencing in July 1968. The Saudi F 53 and T 55 Lightnings were manufactured with additional air to ground capability with rocket pods and bombs on under wing and over wing pylons and hard points and were flown from the UK via Jeddah AB to RSAF Lightning Storage Unit LSU at Riyadh AB prior to alocating to operational Squadrons. 6 Squadrons Hunter Flight was inactivated in July 1968 with its aircraft transferred to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.  As the new F 53 and T 55 Lightnings were received the Magic Carpet F 52 and T 54 were released to form the Lightning Conversion Unit activated at Dhahran. A number of aircrew were initially deployed to the UK from 1968 to be trained by the RAFs RSAF Flight of 226 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Coltishall using the first four Royal Saudi Air Force T 55 trainer Lightnings later delivered to Lightning Conversion Unit at Dhahran Air Base in autumn 1969 when 226 OCUs training mission ended. 6 Squadron trained for ground attack with the F 53 and the T 55 where a weapons officer would occupy the second seat and tactical reconnaissance. Supported by 7 Squadron F 86F Sabre aircraft and Lightning Conversion Unit 6 Squadron carried out rocket and bomb ground attack missions with both F 53 and T 55 Lightnings from December 1969 to May 1970 during the border dispute with South Yemen with one of its F 53 shot down by Yemeni ground fire on 3 May 1970 the pilot ejecting and rescued by Saudi forces. An Iraqi An 12B with a shipment of arms for the Yemeni Republicans was intercepted by Lightnings in January 1970 and forced to land in Saudi Arabia. Hosilities ceased later in 1970 when the Republicans and the Royalists formed a coalition government and the country was reformed into Arab Republic of Yemen.

The Lightnings ground attack role was reassigned to the new F 5E Tiger units commencing with 15 Squadron in 1974 on its retasking when reequipped with F 5E Tiger fighter bomber aircraft delivered under Peace Hawk II programme. 6 Squadron continued with Lightning conversion training air defence interception and reconnaissance tasking and began Dissimilar Air Combat Training with RSAF F 5E fighter units in 1978.

6 Squadron transferred its remaining Lightning aircraft to 2 Squadron at Tabuk Air Base and began reequipping with McDonnell Douglas F 15 C single seat and D two seat Eagle Air Superiority fighters in August 1981 under the Peace Sun programme to replace the RSAF Lightnings and remained at Khamis Mushait AB. A number of air and ground crews were deployed to Luke AFB US for training on the new types. One F 15C and one F 15D from 6 Squadron intercepted two Iranian F 4E Phantom fighter bombers which were threatening Saudi oil fields on 5 June 1984 and the F 15D shot one down with Sparrow missiles and the F 15C damaged the other. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 6 Squadron deployed assets to Dhahran AB and undertook combat air patrols along the border with Kuwait and Iraq to counter Iraqs threatened attacks on Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Combat operations continued during Operation Desert Storm commencing January 1991 with shared CAPs with British Tornado F 3 and USAF F 15C aircraft.

The Squadron emblem was changed in 1992 from the tiger head 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 Operation Desert Storm successfully ejected the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and degraded Iraqs military capability 6 Squadron border operations continued during the 1990s with Operation Southern Watch and the No Fly Zone.

The Squadron began upgrading to F 15S Strike Eagles strike fighters in 1996 adding strike attack capability to its tasking.

Khamis Mushayt AB was redesignated King Khalid 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 King Khalid Air Base Khamis Mushayt.

6 Squadrons F 15C and F 15D aircraft released when it transitioned to F 15S Strike Eagles were used to equip 2 Squadron when it was reequipped in 2003. The Squadron continued Combat Air Patrols during Operation Iraqi Freedom the invasion of Iraq from 20 March to 1 May 2003.The Squadron participated in Red Flag 08 2 2 from 4 to 15 February 2008 at Nellis AFB Nevada with eight F 15S Strike Eagles operating daily with F 15E Strike Eagles from 48 Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath as the exercises strike component. 6 Squadron undertook strike attack operations against Houthi rebel insurgents in Yemen from 2009 and deployed elements for operations against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria from 2014 and further strikes in Yemen in 2015 and 2016.

6 Squadron is due to upgrade to F 15SA Saudi Advanced strike fighters along with 55 Squadron which is due to act as the Flying Training Unit FTU at King Khaled Air Base Khamis Mushayt.

This patch dates from 1988

 

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