Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Coningsby
Group Captain Jez Attridge OBE MSc RAF
Jez Attridge joined the RAF in 1989. After flying training he was posted to No. 43(F) Squadron, RAF Leuchars, as a pilot on the Tornado F3. He deployed in support of Operation Deny Flight, policing the No Fly Zone over Bosnia and was employed on Quick Reaction Alert duty both in Scotland and the Falkland Islands. After completion of the Air Defence Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) Course, Attridge was posted to No. 5(AC) Squadron, then to No 56 Squadron, the Tornado F3 Operational Conversion Unit, as a member of the QWI Staff.
In 1999, Attridge assumed Exchange Officer duties with the United States Marine Corps on Fixed-Wing Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-101. He flew the F/A-18 Hornet, held the position of Ops Officer and became day and night Aircraft Carrier Qualified, flying from the USS Abraham Lincoln and John C Stennis.
Attridge’s next tour was as the Personal Staff Officer to the Director General of the Saudi Armed Forces Project. He served in this position until 2005 and then was posted to 3(F) Squadron, the 1st RAF Eurofighter Typhoon unit. As the Executive Officer he oversaw the Squadron’s activation and Typhoon’s 1st overseas deployment. For this activity he was awarded an MBE.
Attridge attended the Advanced Command and Staff College in Canberra, Australia, in 2008. On completion he assumed command of No XI Squadron. During his tenure the unit deployed at short notice in support of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN and remained in theatre for the first 3 months of Operation ELLAMY, the UK’s contribution to the UN-mandated reaction to the Libyan crisis. This marked Typhoon’s operational debut in both the air to air and air to surface role. Attridge was awarded an OBE for commanding the Typhoon contingent.
Attridge’s next role was as the principle staff officer responsible for Typhoon future capability, a position he held during the transition of Air Capability from MoD Main Building to HQ Air, RAF High Wycombe. On promotion Attridge was assigned to the Permanent Joint HQ in the J3 division, responsible for CT, Joint Effects, UK operations in Africa and the oversight of Air assets on UK operations.
Group Captain Attridge is married to Kiran, an RAF doctor, and has a young daughter called Ella, who is a spare time vortex. He enjoys participating in all sports, has completed an Iron Man slowly and plays the Didgeridoo badly.