A squadron is a small unit or formation of
cavalry, armour, aircraft(including balloons), or warships.
Army and Marines
cavalrysquadron ( horseor armoured), typically consists of three to five troops.
United States Army, a squadron is the Cavalry equivalent of an infantry battalionor artillery battalion; it is used for Armored Cavalryand Air Cavalryunits.
UK and Commonwealth
British Armyand many Commonwealth armies, it is the counterpart of an infantry company or artillery battery. The designation is also used for company-sized units in the Special Air Service, Honourable Artillery Company, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals, Royal Army Medical Corpsand Royal Logistic Corps, and formerly of the now defunct Royal Corps of Transport, as well as the Royal Marines.
Squadrons are commonly designated using letters or numbers (e.g. No. 1 Squadron or A Squadron). In some
British Armyunits it is a tradition for squadrons to also be named after an important historical battle in which the regiment has taken part. In some special cases, squadrons can also be named after a unique honour which has been bestowed on the unit (e.g. The Queen's Colour Squadronof the Royal Air Force's RAF Regiment).
An "escadron" (the French word for squadron) is another word for a cavalry division. For a long time, an escadron corresponded to a battalion, uniting several companies. Since the mid 20th century, an escadron has been the equivalent of a single company.
In the cavalry (now called the "mounted arm") a captain (3 galons, or braids) commands an escadron (what would be a "company" in the infantry) and is thus called a "
chef d'escadron" (with escadron in the singular). However, his superior in the hierarchy (4 galons) commands 2 escadrons and is thus called "chef d'escadrons" (with escadron in the plural). There are 2 exceptions - in the Gendarmerie and Artillerie (both accounted mounted arms), such a commander (again with 4 galons) is a "chef d'escadron" (singular).
air force, army aviationor naval aviationsquadron typically consists of three or four flights, with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, depending on aircraft type and air force. In the Imperial Japanese Armyin the Second World War, three air squadrons were assigned to each air regiment. Some air forces (including the Royal Air Forceand United States Air Force) also use the term for air force ground units. Multiple squadrons (typically three to ten) make up a wing. An escadron is the equivalent unit in France's Armée de l'Air (with an as a subsection of an escadron) and Canada's air force.
Air Training Corpsof the UK, a Squadron is a group of cadets who parade regularly.
Civil Air Patrol, a squadron is the basic administrative unit.
A naval squadron can be either a permanent battle formation or an "ad hoc" grouping of warships, typically
capital ships( battleships, battlecruisers, cruisers, or aircraft carriers). In the United States Navy, several ships of a similar type, such as submarines and destroyers, are administered as squadrons.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.