Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston

KCB CBE ADC

The Chief of the Air Staff is the 4-star commander and professional head of the Royal Air Force.

He is accountable to the Secretary of State for its fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale.

Reporting through the Chief of the Defence Staff, he is responsible for the development, generation, integration and sustainment of the RAF in accordance with Defence policy and priorities to meet CDS strategic objectives.

Details

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston was appointed Chief of the Air Staff on 26 July 2019. 

Commissioned on a University Cadetship in 1986, he completed his pilot training on the Tornado GR1 in 1992 followed by a succession of frontline tours, including operational deployments enforcing the no-fly zones in Iraq.  He commanded 12(Bomber) Squadron, flying the Tornado GR4 and leading the Squadron on two operational tours in Iraq and large force exercises in Canada, Malaysia and the USA.  Appointments in operational headquarters have included Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar, as the Chief of Combat Operations in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre; Basrah International Airport, Iraq as Commander 903 Expeditionary Air Wing; and one year in Afghanistan as the Director Air Operations in Headquarters ISAF Joint Command.  He was appointed CBE in 2013 for his contribution to that mission. 

Staff appointments in the Ministry of Defence have included the Operations Directorate and the predecessor to what is now Military Strategic Effects.  In 2013, after a short spell as the Tornado Force Commander, he became the Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff.  In January 2015, he was appointed Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Commander British Forces Cyprus, responsible for the civil governance of the Sovereign Base Areas and command of British forces based permanently in Cyprus.

Senior Royal Air Force appointments have included Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, responsible for the strategic coherence and coordination of the Royal Air Force, and oversight of the RAF100 centenary programme.  Prior to becoming Chief of the Air Staff, he was Deputy Commander Capability, responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all aspects of Royal Air Force capability including people, equipment, infrastructure and training. 

Education and training includes: reading Engineering Science at Oriel College, Oxford; the Advanced Command and Staff Course; an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London; the Higher Command and Staff Course; and the UK Pinnacle Course.  He is a Vice Patron of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and President of the Royal Air Force Rowing Association.

In October 2020, he was appointed to the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath as Knight Commander (KCB).

Personal Statement of Values and Standards

Career history

1986 - Commissioned on a University Cadetship

1992 – Completed pilot training on Tornado GR1

This was followed by a succession of frontline tours, including operational deployments enforcing the no-fly zones in Iraq.

2005 – Assumed command of 12 (Bomber) Squadron

Flying the Tornado GR4 and leading the Squadron on two operational tours in Iraq and large force exercises in Canada, Malaysia and the USA.

2007 – Commander of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing in Iraq

Supporting a number of aircraft types such as Typhoon FGR4, Tornado GR4 and C130 Hercules.

2013 – Tornado Force Commander

2013 – Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff

Working for General Lord Richards and, from July 2013, for General Sir Nicholas Houghton after a short spell as the Tornado Force Commander.

2015 – Appointed Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia

And Commander British Forces Cyprus, responsible for the civil governance of the Sovereign Base Areas and command of British forces based permanently in Cyprus.

2017 – Appointed Assistant Chief of Air Staff

2018 - Appointed Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel & Capability

2019 – Appointed Chief of the Air Staff

Honours

2013 - appointed CBE

2020 - appointed KCB

Connect with Chief of the Air Staff