Wing commander (rank)

Wing commander (Wg Cdr in the RAF, the IAF, and the PAF, WGCDR in the RNZAF and RAAF, formerly sometimes W/C in all services) is a senior commissioned rank in the British Royal Air Force and air forces of many countries which have historical British influence, including many Commonwealth countries but not including Canada (since Unification) and South Africa. It is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. It ranks immediately above squadron leader and immediately below group captain.[1] It has a NATO ranking code of OF-4, and is equivalent to commander in the Royal Navy and to lieutenant colonel in the British Army, the Royal Marines, and the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force (until 1968), and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service (until 1980) was wing officer. The equivalent rank in the Royal Observer Corps (until 1995) was observer commander which had a similar rank insignia.

Wing commander
British RAF OF-4
UK wing commander's sleeve/shoulder insignia
Country
Australian
Service branchAir Force
Abbreviation
Wg Cdr
NATO rankOF-4
Next higher rankGroup captain
Next lower rankSquadron leader
Equivalent ranksCommander (Navy)
Lieutenant colonel (Army & Marines)
Related articles
HistoryRoyal Naval Air Service

Origins

RNAS Wg Cdr
The rank insignia of a Royal Naval Air Service wing commander

With the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps adopting the name of Royal Naval Air Service 1 July 1914, the Naval Air Service adopted appointments in addition to the naval ranks. Pilots wore insignia according to the appointment not their rank. One of the appointments was wing commander holding the rank of commander.[2]

On 1 April 1918, the newly created British Royal Air Force did not initially adopt a new rank structure with personnel continuing their prior services' rank and uniform. There were some changes in ranks but it was inconstant. In 1920, RAF began using the rank of wing commander.[3]

Usage

In the early years of the RAF, a wing commander commanded a flying wing, typically a group of three or four aircraft squadrons. In current usage a wing commander is more likely to command a wing which is an administrative sub-division of an RAF station. A flying squadron is normally commanded by a wing commander but is occasionally commanded by a squadron leader for small units. In the Air Training Corps, a wing commander is usually the officer commanding of a wing.

Insignia and command flag

The rank insignia is based on the three gold bands of commanders in the Royal Navy and consists of three narrow light blue bands over slightly wider black bands. This is worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulder of the flying suit or the casual uniform.

The command pennant is two triangular command pennants used in the RAF. Two thin red lines differentiate this one from the other.

During 1941-45 RAF Fighter Command's wing leaders (of wing commander rank) were also allowed to use their own initials as aircraft identification letters on their personal aircraft, e.g., Wing Commander Roland Beamont's personal Hawker Tempest, JN751, was coded "R-B", Wing Commander John Robert Baldwin's personal Hawker Typhoon was coded "J-B".

UK-Air-OF4

An RAF wing commander's sleeve/shoulder insignia

File-UK-Air-OF4-mess-insignia

An RAF wing commander's sleeve mess insignia

UK-Air-OF4-Flag

An RAF wing commander's command pennant

RAF-Wg Cdr-OF-4

An RAF wing commander's sleeve on No. 1 service dress uniform

Other air forces

The rank of wing commander is also used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Sri Lankan Air Force. It is also used in the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman and the Royal Thai Air Force. The Royal Malaysian Air Force used the rank until it was retitled as that of lieutenant colonel in 1973, with the same rank insignia.

RAAF O5 rank

An RAAF wing commander's sleeve/shoulder insignia

NZ-Air-OF4

An RNZAF wing commander's sleeve/shoulder insignia

Hellenic Air Force OF-4

A Hellenic Air Force antisminarchos (wing commander's) rank insignia

Wing Commander of IAF

An Indian Air Force wing commander's rank insignia

An RTAF wing commander's rank insignia

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) used the rank until the unification of the Canadian Forces (CF) in 1968, when army-type rank titles were adopted. A Canadian wing commander then became a lieutenant colonel. In official French Canadian usage, a wing commander's rank title was lieutenant-colonel d'aviation. The rank of wing commander continues to be used as a cadet rank at the Royal Military College of Canada.

In the 1990s, the Canadian Forces Air Command (the post-1968 RCAF) altered the structure of those bases under its control, redesignating them as wings. The commander of such an establishment was re-designated as the "wing commander" (or "Wg Comd"). Like the United States Air Force usage, the term "wing commander" (as used in the modern Canadian Forces) is an appointment, not a rank. A wing commander usually holds the rank of colonel.

United States Air Force

In the United States Air Force (USAF) wing commander is a duty title, not a rank. The equivalent USAF rank is lieutenant colonel who typically has command of a squadron. Because USAF wings are larger formations than RAF wings, the commander of a wing must hold at least the rank of colonel, and is typically a colonel or a brigadier general. The one exception to this is the commander of the 59th Medical Wing (Wilford Hall Medical Center) who is customarily a major general.

Civil Air Patrol (United States Air Force Auxiliary)

The Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxiliary of the USAF, follows the USAF rank structure. The CAP divides the nation into 52 wings (each corresponding to a state, territory, and District of Columbia). Each wing is headed by a CAP colonel, who holds the position of wing commander.

Notable wing commanders

See also

References

  1. ^ "Military ranks". BBC Academy. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Fleet Air Arm, Naval Aviation, Royal Navy Air Service History- 1914 - 1 July: Royal Naval Air Service is formed". www.fleetairarmoa.org. Fleet Air Arm Officers Association. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Fleet Air Arm, Naval Aviation, Royal Navy Air Service History- 1918 - 1 April: RNAS and RFC amalgamated to create RAF". www.fleetairarmoa.org. Fleet Air Arm Officers Association. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  4. ^ Geldenhuys, Preller (2007). Rhodesian Air Force Operations with Air Strike Log. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 13 July 2007). ISBN 978-1-920169-61-9.
  5. ^ CNN, Analysis by Brad Lendon. "Crisis may be easing, but nuclear threat still hangs over India and Pakistan". CNN.
Andrew MacGregor

Air Vice Marshal Andrew MacGregor, (25 October 1897 – 24 October 1983) was a First World War flying ace credited with six aerial victories—including three scored with James Grant as his gunner—and a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Garud Commando Force

[1]

The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force. It was formed in September 2004 and has a current strength of over 1500 personnel. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine bird-like creature in Hinduism.

Garud is tasked with the protection of critical Air Force bases and installations; search and rescue during peace and hostilities and disaster relief during calamities. Presently, Garuds are deployed in Congo as part of the UN peace keeping operations.

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles (W–X)

This page lists Sri Lanka-related articles with titles beginning with an alphabet letters W and X.

W. A. Silva

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Wing commander (rank)

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Workmen's Compensation (Occupational Diseases) Convention, 1925

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Jetfire

Jetfire is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers franchise. He is almost always depicted as an Autobot with jet or space shuttle alternate mode.

Johnny Checketts

John Milne "Johnny" Checketts, (20 February 1912 – 21 April 2006) was a New Zealand flying ace of the Second World War, who was credited with the destruction of ​14 1⁄2 enemy aircraft, three probably destroyed and 11 damaged.

Born in Invercargill, Checketts worked as a mechanic before joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in October 1940. After completing his flight training he was sent to the United Kingdom to serve with the Royal Air Force. From January 1942, he flew with No. 485 (NZ) Squadron before being posted to No. 611 Squadron. He returned to No. 485 Squadron in August 1943 as its commander but two months later was shot down over occupied France. He was returned to the United Kingdom by the French Resistance. He later commanded a wing carrying out operations in support of the D-Day landings and escorting heavy bombers on raids into Germany.

After the war, he remained in the RNZAF, commanding air bases in New Zealand and Fiji. Returning to civilian life in 1954, he set up an aerial topdressing company and later did conservation work. He died in 2006, at the age of 94.

Noel Keeble

Wing Commander (rank) Noel Keeble (6 April 1892—4 June 1963) was a British flying ace of the First World War, credited with six aerial victories.

RAF Fighter Command

RAF Fighter Command was one of the commands of the Royal Air Force. It was formed in 1936 to allow more specialised control of fighter aircraft. It served throughout the Second World War. It earned great fame during the Battle of Britain in 1940, when the Few held off the Luftwaffe attack on Britain. The Command continued until 17 November 1943, when it was disbanded and the RAF fighter force was split into two categories; defence and attack. The defensive force became Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB) and the offensive force became the RAF Second Tactical Air Force. Air Defence of Great Britain was renamed back to Fighter Command in October 1944 and continued to provide defensive patrols around Great Britain. It was disbanded for the second time in 1968, when it was subsumed into the new Strike Command.

Richard Haine

Group Captain Richard Cummins Haine OBE DFC (1 October 1916 – 30 September 2008) was a pilot and a commanding officer with the Royal Air Force from 1936 to 1970. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in the Second World War, including the first night fighter defence over Britain, and was involved in the first fighter attack of the war on German territory. Haine served as the commanding officer of No. 488 Squadron RNZAF in 1944.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.Born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of acting wing commander. He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and he became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards' Children's Author of the Year in 1990. In 2008, The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".Dahl's short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kindhearted, and feature an underlying warm sentiment. Dahl's works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George's Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.

SO1

SO1 may refer to:

Specialist Protection Command a command division within the Specialist Operations Directorate of London's Metropolitan Police Service

Special Operator: Naval Special Warfare, SEAL; see United States Navy SEALs#Special warfare ratings

Sonarman First Class, a former American naval rank.

A staff officer of the first class, usually an officer of commander, lieutenant colonel or wing commander rank.

Special Operations 1 - Propaganda, of SOE (Special Operations Executive, British, World War II)

Wing Commander

Wing Commander may refer to:

Wing commander (rank), a military rank

Wing Commander (franchise), the Origin Systems computer game series and related franchise

Wing Commander (video game), the first title in the Wing Commander computer game series

Wing Commander (novel series), set in the game universe

Wing Commander (film), a 1999 film based on the computer game

Wing Commander, a 1984 flight simulator game published by Mastertronic, not related to the Wing Commander franchise

Wing Commander (horse), a six-time World Grand Champion show horse

Wing leader

Wing leader, or wing commander (flying), denotes the tactical commander of a Commonwealth military wing on flying operations. The terms refer to a position, not a rank, although the role was usually taken by an officer ranked wing commander. The position was also distinct from the commanding officer of the wing, generally a higher-ranked officer. The first wing leaders were appointed in 1941, and the position remained in use until the 1960s.

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or
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*****
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