Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel and Capability
AIR MARSHAL BAZ NORTH OBE MA RAF
Barry Mark North (Baz) was born on 13 September 1959 and educated at Carre’s Grammar School, Sleaford and at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, where he gained a Higher National Diploma in Business Studies; he is married to Fiona. Joining the RAF in January 1982, he graduated from Cranwell with the Hennessy Trophy and the Philip Sassoon Memorial Prize in July that year. On completion of basic and advanced flying training, he was posted to No 72 Squadron in Northern Ireland as a junior pilot in August 1984. He converted from the Wessex to the Chinook before his first tour with the Special Forces Flight of No 7 Squadron, based at RAF Odiham, in March 1987. He was Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of the Defence Staff, MRAF the Lord Craig, from December 1988 to March 1991, returning to flying duties as the Officer Commanding No 78 Squadron, a mixed Chinook/Sea King unit based in the Falkland Islands, in July 1991. He took command of the Special Forces Flight of No 7 Squadron in September 1992, where he served until joining the last Army Command and Staff Course in March 1996. Honoured with the MBE in June 1996, he gained a MA in Defence Studies in 1997. He served as Personal Staff Officer to Sir John Day and Lord Jock Stirrup during their tenures as Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group from December 1996 to July 1998 before promotion to wing commander saw him join Headquarters Strike Command as Wing Commander Operations. In October 1999 he took command of No 33 Squadron flying Puma helicopters at RAF Benson; he led the Squadron on the Joint Helicopter Command’s first operation, Operation BARWOOD in Mozambique during the catastrophic flooding of February and March 2000. On promotion to group captain in May 2002 he assumed the appointment of DACOS J1/J5/J6 at Headquarters Joint Helicopter Command; he led the Command’s planning for its support to Operation TELIC. Honoured with the OBE in January 2003, he was appointed as the Senior RAF Officer Northern Ireland, Commander of the Joint Helicopter Force Northern Ireland and Station Commander RAF Aldergrove in April 2004. As ADC to HM The Queen, he facilitated a plethora of key Royal and diplomatic visits into the Province throughout his tour while delivering a 50% reduction in the Station’s Estate and the Force’s complement as part of the Normalisation and Medium Term Workstrands’ initiatives. Promoted to Air Commodore in January 2006, he took command of No 83 Expeditionary Air Group in Al Udeid, Qatar, in February 2006. Commanding all UK air operations within the Gulf Region and Afghanistan, while exercising the National Veto over all US aircraft operating from Diego Garcia, he rationalised the RAF’s footprint within the Middle East before returning to the UK in September 2006; he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Winter 2006 Operational Honours List. He became the Director of Air Resources and Plans in January 2007, overseeing the RAF’s planning activity in the parlous 08 and 09 Planning Rounds. Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal in April 2009 he was appointed as Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group and Chief of Staff Training at HQ AIR Command where he led the tri-service campaigns to deliver MFTS and DTR Package 1. He became the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff on 1 March 2010, and served as a non-executive director of the Civil Aviation Authority and sat as member of the UK Space Council. During his tenure of this post he guided the RAF Staffs through the SDSR of 2010 and oversaw the MOD’s Airspace policy delivery during the hectic period of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games. On promotion to Air Marshal he was appointed as the RAF’s Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel & Capability on 3 May 2013.