Air Vice-Marshal Colin Da'Silva
The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) (ACAS (Plans)) is the 2-star commander of Air Command’s Central Business Pillar. Reporting directly to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), ACAS (Plans) is responsible for Air TLB Portfolio and Performance Management, and RAF Command Plan development, ensuring the balanced delivery of the RAF Strategy through evidence-based decision making.
Born in Birmingham, Air Vice-Marshal Da’Silva was commissioned into the RAF in 1986. On completion of training he served on 92(F) Squadron, operating the F4 Phantom from RAF Wildenrath; from where he deployed to participate in the first Gulf War. Following conversion to the Tornado F3 in 1991 he served on the frontline, deploying twice on Operation Deny Flight to conduct operational missions over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, as an OCU instructor and on the operational test and evaluation unit. He commanded 905 EAW in the Falkland Islands as a wing commander and Camp Bastion (and 903 EAW) as a group captain. He also spent three years in command of HQ Joint Ground Based Air Defence, responsible for the UK’s land-based SHORAD capability.
On the staff, he served as a career manager as a squadron leader; as a programmer in Air RP as a wing commander (following ACSC, where he was awarded an MA in Defence Studies from KCL) and as the military member of Lord Levene’s Defence Reform Team as a group captain. He then worked in the Cabinet Office, completing a study into the UK’s Gulf Security Strategy before deploying to the US as an air attaché in Washington DC in 2015. Promoted to Air Commodore in early 2016, he completed Russian language training and deployed to Moscow as Defence Attaché in 2017. On return to the UK in March 2018 he completed a study for VCDS to assess the coherence of the MOD contribution to Ukraine. He moved to HQ Air and became Head of Air Transformation in September 2018, prior to his appointment as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) in February 2020.