The Royal Air Force reformed Number 11 Group at a special ceremony at RAF High Wycombe on November 1. Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid took command of the Group which will lead the RAF’s response to new and evolving threats in the air, cyber and space domains. No.11 Group famously defended London and the south-east against the attacks of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.
Speaking about the genesis of the new Group, AVM Duguid said: “The fundamental principle behind 11 Gp is about the concept of meeting today and tomorrow’s needs from a war fighting perspective and to meet the understanding of what a next generation air force is going to be.”
Reflecting on the legacy of 11 Gp’s role during the Battle of Britain and noting some similarities in the current era, Deputy Commander Operations, Air Marshal Stuart Atha, added: “We live in dangerous times and are being challenged in the air, space and cyber domains. This multidomain threat demands a multidomain response and that is at the heart of the 11 Gp mission.”
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, could not be at the ceremony as he was visiting Service personnel on operations in Afghanistan. However, in sending his congratulations he said: “You are establishing the RAF’s first multi-domain operations group, which I expect to play a vital role in delivering both our current world-class capabilities, and in defining and developing our next generation air force. I will continue to take a close personal interest in your progress towards Initial and then Full Operational Capability – my very best wishes, and good luck.”
Further development in the coming months will include training in cyber and battlespace management to help integration of the space and cyber domains with control of the air. This will be reinforced by intelligence training to further develop the capability to conduct effective information operations.