A SQUADRON in air force , army aviation , or naval aviation is a unit comprising a number of military aircraft and their aircrews , usually of the same type, typically with 12 to 24 aircraft, sometimes divided into three or four flights , depending on aircraft type and air force. Land based squadrons equipped with heavier type aircraft such as long-range bombers, or cargo aircraft, or air refueling tankers have around 12 aircraft as a typical authorization, while most fighter equipped units have an authorized number of 18 to 24.
In most armed forces, two or more squadrons will form a group or a
wing . Some air forces (including the
Royal Air Force
UNITED STATES MILITARY AIR SERVICES
For more details on U.S. Navy squadrons, see Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons .
In contrast to
United States Air Force
United States Marine Corps
Also in contrast to USAF flying squadrons, most tactical sea-based and land-based U.S. Naval Aviation squadrons (USN and USMC), vice training squadrons and test and evaluation squadrons, usually do not have more than 12 aircraft authorized/assigned at any one time. Exceptions are USN helicopter mine countrmeasures squadrons (17 MH-53), USMC composite medium tilt-rotor squadrons (12 MV-22s, 6 AH-1s, 4 CH-53s, 3 UH-1s, and 6 AV-8s), heavy helicopter (16 CH-53s) and light/attack helicopter (18 AH-1s and 9 UH-1s) squadrons, and Marine attack squadrons (16 AV-8s).
Although part of U.S. naval aviation, United States Coast Guard aviation units are centered on an air station versus a squadron or group/wing organizational structure. The one exception to this is the Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Squadron (HITRON), which is engaged primarily in counter-narcotics (CN) interdiction operations.
In U.S. Army Aviation, flying units may be organized in battalions or squadrons (air cavalry only) reporting to an aviation brigade.
Pattern in some NATO countries Rank level of general or commanding officer
USN USAF and
German Air Force
Flight Schwarm / Kette OF-2
An escadron is the equivalent unit in France's Armée de l\'Air . It is normally subdivided into escadrilles of eight aircraft.
In the U.S. Civil Air Patrol , a squadron is the basic administrative unit.
In the Swedish Air Force a helicopter squadron (helikopterskvadron) is a detachment from the "Helicopter Wing" (Helikopterflottiljen). The Swedish Air Force in general is organised around two basic units, squadrons (referred to as "divisions" in Swedish) and wings (referred to as "flotillas"). Unlike the US Air Force, where the name of the base and the units stationed at that base are not related to each other, the name of the wing (flotilla) is in general considered synonymous with the air base where the unit is stationed. For example the air base where the F10 wing is stationed (in Ängelholm) is commonly referred to as F10 even though it is the name of the tactical unit. In general, this only applies as long as a wing is stationed at the base. Case in point is Uppsala-Ärna air base, an active military airport but since the tactical unit located there has been disbanded it is no longer referred to as F16. These naming conventions have been inherited from the navy where Swedish military aviation has its roots.
* ^ Helikopterflottiljen (in Swedish)