4 Regiment Army Air Corps was formed on 24 October 1969 from 654 Aviation Squadron, 661 Aviation Squadron and 662 Aviation Squadron. In 1972, 662 Aviation Squadron moved to 2nd Division Aviation Regiment and 660 Aviation Squadron came under command of 4th Division Aviation Regiment.
On 1 January 1973 the Regiment was re-titled 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, the Regiment’s squadrons remaining in these locations until November 1977 when, after restructuring, the Regiment comprised of the Regimental Headquarters and 661 Squadron Army Air Corps (renamed A Squadron) at Detmold and 658 Squadron Army Air Corps (B Squadron) at Minden.
In 1978, following the ‘Wide Horizon’ Study, the Squadrons were re-designated, with 654 Squadron Army Air Corps in Detmold and 664 Squadron Army Air Corps in Minden. In January 1983, as a result of the restructuring of British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), 664 Squadron Army Air Corps became independent, remaining at Minden as the Corps Support Squadron and 659 Squadron Army Air Corps and 669 Squadron Army Air Corps joined the Regiment following the disbandment of 9 Regiment Army Air Corps. 4 Regiment Army Air Corps then comprised of Headquarter Squadron (established 1st October 1986), 654 Squadron, 659 Squadron and 669 Squadron Army Air Corps.
4 Regiment Army Air Corps saw action during Gulf War 1 (Op GRANBY) as the Divisional Aviation Regiment, flying Lynx and Gazelle aircraft. The Regiment moved to Wattisham in 1995 where it was re-roled as one of the two Aviation Regiments; originally in 24 Airmobile Brigade. During the nineties the Regiment deployed squadrons on operational tours to Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo and a small detachment to Sierra Leone.
In 2006 659 Squadron and 669 Squadron both moved with their Lynx helicopters to 9 Regiment Army Air Corps with both 656 Squadron and 664 Squadron moving down to Wattisham with Apache. The Regiment’s orbat now includes three new Apache Attack Helicopter (AH) Squadrons, Headquarter Squadron and an integral REME Workshop. Aviation support to 16 Air Assault Brigade is currently provided by three aviation regiments, 4 Regt AAC is one of the brigades two Attack Aviation Regiments.
More recently 4 Regiment Army Air Corps commenced a second 12 month operational tour of Afghanistan in May 2010. Each of the AH Squadron’s being deployed on a four month tour of theatre; deployments to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK are an enduring commitment taken in rotation with 3 Regt AAC.
With thanks to Mike Peters