Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy retires

31 July 2009

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Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy has retired from the Royal Air Force. To mark the occasion Sir Glenn and Lady Torpy were dined out on Thursday evening, 30th July at the historic College Hall at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. Prior to the dinner a Sunset Ceremony, led by members of II Squadron, RAF Regiment, took place outside the Officers’ Mess. The ceremony concluded with a flypast of a Typhoon and three Tornado fast jets.

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Sir Glenn who had been Chief of the Air Staff since April 2006 first joined the RAF in 1974 after studying aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London. His early career as a fast jet pilot saw him fly, Hawks, Jaguars and Tornado GR1A aircraft. He saw active service with XIII squadron during the Gulf war in the early 90’s and was subsequently awarded a Distinguished Service Order. During his flying career Sir Glenn had amassed some 4300 hours of fast jet flying.

During his career Sir Glenn had been appointed to a wide variety of important roles within the RAF and the Ministry of Defence for which he was honoured. For his contribution to operations in Kosovo he was made a Commander of the British Empire. In 2003 he was the UK Air Contingent Commander for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was later awarded the US Legion of Merit for his part in the Coalition operation. He was also made a Knight Commander of the Bath in 2005 and in June 2008 became a Grand Knight Commander.

Sir Glenn’s time as the Chief of the Air Staff had been dominated by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just six weeks ago saw the end of UK combat operations in Iraq and, significantly for the Royal Air Force, the end of 19 years of near continuous air operations over Iraq. Sir Glenn commented, “I have had the enormous privilege of leading the Royal Air Force through one of the busiest periods in our history.”

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Summing up, he added, “As I leave the Service my lasting memory will be of the quality, determination and commitment of everyone in the Service, including our Reserves and Cadets. The enviable reputation that the Royal Air Force enjoys with the general public and around the world is entirely due to the admiration and respect that you have earned over many years of difficult and dangerous operations.”

1: Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy GCB CBE DSO ADC BSc (Eng) FRAes FCGI RAF is succeeded as Chief of Air the Staff by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton KCB ADC BSc FRAeS FCMI RAF.

2. For further information on RAF College Cranwell please go to: www.raf.mod.uk/rafcranwell

Images are RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2009.

Sir Glenn issued a message of thanks on his departure. To read his message click here

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