Squadron Motto: “Ubique Speculabundus” (The Eyes of the Guns are Everywhere)
653 Squadron was formed as a RAF squadron on 20th June 1942 at Old Sarum, originally equipped with Tiger Moths.
After a hectic few years of fighting service through Europe, the squadron disbanded at the end of the Second World War.
The Army Air Corps was formed on 1st September 1957, and 653 Sqn re-formed as an AAC unit in Cyprus on 11th May 1958. After further service in Aden and Netheravon, it moved to West Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine.
When 3 Regiment from Soest, Germany arrived at Wattisham on 9th June 1993, 653 Sqn brought their Gazelle AH1s and Lynx AH1s and AH7s with them. They still retained a few non-upgraded Lynx AH1s, but it was not long before the unit had standardised on the improved Lynx AH7s.
653 Sqn converted to the Apache AH1 and in 2015 became the Apache Conversion Squadron, and continues to fly the Apache AH1 from Wattisham today.