Air Vice-Marshal Ian Gale


The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff is responsible for the strategic coherence and coordination of the Royal Air Force.

Responsibilities include the RAF Strategy, national and international engagement, and media and communications. 

The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff is a member of the Air Force Board, the Air Force Board Executive, and is a Non-Executive member of the Civil Aviation Authority Board.


Ian has commanded at flight, wing and station level amassing over 3000 flying hours and 350 operational missions as a Tornado Weapons Instructor and in Operational Test & Evaluation of Tornado and Typhoon.  He was appointed MBE for his leadership in ops and trials and the Sir Arthur Barratt prize for developing new tactics / techniques for the 2003 Scud Hunting Campaign.  He was at the forefront of the deployment of Tornado to Afghanistan in 2009 and fought the 2011 Libya campaign as the Deputy Air Contingent Commander.  As CO RAF Lossiemouth, he commanded a unit of 2500 personnel, three Tornado Squadrons, a Search and Rescue Flight, an RAF Regiment Wing and various smaller units across Scotland, during a time of unprecedented operational activity in two theatres, for which he received the 1 Group Leadership Prize and an Institute of Directors award.

Ian has served twice in MOD capability directorates.  He led the rapid procurement of the HERMES 450 Remotely Piloted Air System to Iraq and Afghanistan during his time in the Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) area and serving in Deep Target Attack, was responsible for the Complex Weapons portfolio.  In 2013/14, he worked in Joint Forces Command as the Deputy Head of Collection in C4ISR, where he led strategic development across all three services, as well as programme directing a record-breaking urgent procurement case for a new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. 

Ian was appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff in April 2019, responsible for the coherence and coordination of the Royal Air Force, international relations, strategic engagement and parliamentary business on behalf of the Chief.  He is a Non-Executive Director of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement 

Diversity is our strength. It is proven that more diverse teams make better decisions, are more creative and, in our line of work, are more likely to win and win faster than non-diverse ones.  Diversity is what makes us unique and invaluable and comes in many forms: race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, character makeup, family circumstances, wealth or not. These are just some of the very many things that make up the complex definition of ‘us’.  We are all not just welcome in the Royal Air Force, but we are essential to the proper working of our organisation, to reflecting our society and to ensuring we live by the values we espouse.

Alongside diversity sits inclusion: to be diverse we must be inclusive.  Inclusive of all the things that make us diverse, inclusive of our Whole Force and inclusive when we seek and find viewpoints or behaviours we ourselves find challenging.  Diversity and inclusion are not values expressed by a number of our adversaries; they are part of a society we have pledged to defend with all our might and that starts with our attitudes and our individual behaviours.  Join me in turning these ideas into your own personal action: ask yourself, ‘what will I do’ and embody these words.

Career history

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