Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier
11 March 2019
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier is the Chief of the Air Staff, in command of the Royal Air Force since July 2016. He leads a Whole Force of some 35000 Regular and Reserve personnel and nearly 5000 Civil Servants, supported by thousands of contractors. He is personally accountable for the safe and effective operation of over 700 manned and unmanned aircraft and for meeting the airpower needs of Defence on operations world-wide.
Prior to assuming his current appointment, he was the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability) in the Ministry of Defence between 2012 and 2016, responsible for strategic force design, balance of investment and capability coherence across all areas of UK joint military capability. He has significant other previous experience in MOD capability planning, acquisition and programme delivery. His previous command appointments include Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group, Officer Commanding RAF Lossiemouth, and Officer Commanding Number II(AC) Squadron.
A Tornado GR4 pilot and flying instructor, he has over 3500 flying hours and extensive operational and command experience, ranging from squadron pilot to theatre commander of British Forces. He received his knighthood in 2014 and was appointed CBE in 2004. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for operations over Iraq in 1999,and the United States Bronze Star for Iraq operations in 2003.
He is married to Elaine, who has provided incredible support to him and to the wider RAF family for over 30 years, and has 2 grown-up children. Air Chief Marshal Hillier reluctantly now describes himself as a former long distance runner, frustrated by injury. Instead he now relaxes by road and mountain biking, photography, hill-walking and reading.
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