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Abbreviations

Armed Forces - Royal Air Force Information - Air Force Board - Chief of The Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF - and Chain of Command

RAF COMMAND AND ORGANISATION

Higher Management of the Royal Air Force - CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF - Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF

 

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is a Department of State, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence (SofS) who implements national defence policy and plans the expenditure of the defence budget. The MoD is the highest level of headquarters for the Armed Forces, both administrative and operational. All major issues of policy are referred to the SofS or to one of his Ministerial colleagues:

Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy
Under Secretary of State and the House of Lords Spokesman for Defence

Under the direction of the Defence Council management of Armed Forces is the responsibility of the Service Boards, in the case of the Royal Air Force the Air Force Board is the senior management directorate.

Air Force Board

The routine management of the Royal Air Force is the responsibility of the Air Force Board, the composition of which is as follows:

The Secretary of State for Defence
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy
Under Secretary of State and House of Lords Spokesman for Defence
Permanent Under Secretary
Chief of the Air Staff
Deputy Commander Operations
Deputy Commander Capability & Personnel
Chief of Materiel (Air)
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
Specialist officers as required

Air Force Board Standing Committee (AFBSC)

Attended by senior RAF commanders, the AFBSC dictates the policy required for the Royal Air Force to function efficiently and meet the aims required by the Defence Council and government. The Chief of the Air Staff is the chairman of the Air Force Board Standing Committee.

Decisions made by the Defence Council or the Air Force Board are implemented by the air staff at various headquarters world wide. The Chief of the Air Staff is the officer ultimately responsible for the Royal Air Force's contribution to the national defence effort. He maintains control through the AOC (Air Officer Commanding), and the staff branches of the various Royal Air Force Headquarters.

CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF


Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier is the Chief of the Air Staff, in command of the Royal Air Force, leading a Whole Force of some 35,000 Regular and Reserve personnel, and 5,000 Civil CAS web 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, which currently means thousands of people and every front-line force committed to operations world-wide.

 In addition to sustaining his people and this exceptionally high level of commitment, he is also responsible for delivering the significant growth in the RAF’s front-line capability announced in the 2015 Defence Review.

Prior to assuming his current appointment in July 2016, 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 experience in MoD capability planning, acquisition and programme delivery, and his most recent previous command appointment was as Air Officer Commanding 2 Group from 2008 to 2010, responsible for the RAF’s ISTAR, Air Transport, Air-Refuelling, Force Protection and Search and Rescue capabilities.

A Tornado GR4 pilot and flying instructor, he has over ,500 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 two grown-up children. Air Chief Marshal Hillier relaxes through running half-marathons, usually for Service charities, photography, hill-walking and reading.