Warrant Officer Jon Crossley in service dress uniform next to an RAF ensign

Warrant Officer Jon Crossley

The Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer (CASWO) is the senior Warrant Officer of the Royal Air Force.

The post was created in 1996 and the person holding this appointment advises the Chief of the Air Staff on matters concerning airmen and airwomen of the RAF.

“The pride I have in serving in the RAF emanates from it being a family that delivers effective and professional Air Power across the world, putting its people at the core of its business, making it both an honour and privilege to serve in.”


Jon Crossley was appointed Chief of the Air Staff’s Warrant Officer in October 2016.  He was born and educated in Lancashire before joining the RAF in 1985.

After completing basic training he accomplished Phase 2 training as a Plotter Air Photographer at RAF Wyton. After a short first tour at the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC), RAF Brampton he was posted to 2 (AC) Squadron (Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (RIC)) at RAF Laarbruch in Sep 1986.

Promoted to Corporal in 1990 he trained as a Photographic Interpreter and returned to JARIC. As a Corporal he was detached twice, for 4 months, to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation WARDEN and again to the Linked Operations Centre Europe (LOCE) User Support Cell at RAF Molesworth providing 24 hour system user support to multi-national worldwide agencies.

Returning to JARIC as a Sergeant in September 1996, he undertook a management role and was detached to Gioia Del Colle in Italy, undertaking Imagery Analysis tasking in support of Op DELIBERATE GUARD.

Posted in 2002 to the newly formed Storm Shadow Central Training Facility (SS CTF) at RAF Marham, part of a 2 man team, he planned, designed, produced and delivered into service all Storm Shadow Missile Planning and Weapon Delivery software training. This role saw him as the UK’s sole trainer for 3D Point Position Training for GPS Weapon Delivery.

Promoted to Warrant Officer (WO) in 2009, he remained at Chicksands until 2010 when he deployed to Operation HERRICK to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul as the Theatre Operational Intelligence Group (TOISG) WO. On return he was posted to the Joint Service Signals Unit (JSSU) at RAF Digby, where he developed the Joint Service Geospatial and Imagery Analysis Team tasked with integrating fused intelligence products in support of the Digby mission.

His passion is supporting and developing personnel and is a great advocate of the RAF Mentoring Scheme and is a qualified Trainer. He is also a safeTALK Instructor.

Outside of work he volunteers as a local community Health Walk Leader. He lives in Lincolnshire with his wife Eileen, a Finance Manager and they have one daughter, Lauren. He is an armchair rugby fan, enjoys all things outdoors including gardening and is a DIY geek.

Career history

1985 - Joined the RAF

Jon Crossley joined the RAF in 1985 and soon began training as a Plotter Air Photographer

1986 – Imagery Analyst Assistant

He spent time in this role at RAF Brampton and RAF Laarbruch.

1998 – SNCO Analyst

In support of Operation BANNER, he returned to RAF Aldergrove and RIC (NI).

2007 – Wing Warrant Officer Air Intelligence Wing

Responsible for Phase 2 Officer and Airmen Intelligence training at DISC Chicksands.

2012 – Recruit Training Squadron Warrant Officer at RAF Halton

2014 – Station Warrant Officer at RAF College Cranwell

2016 – Chief of Air Staff Warrant Officer at Air Command RAF High Wycombe


2017 – awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (RAF).

2015 – awarded the Bar to the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (RAF).

2012 – awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

2010 – awarded the Operational Service Medal (Afghanistan) for Op HERRICK operations.

2002 – awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal.

2000 – awarded the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal for various Operations.

2000 – awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (RAF).

1996 – awarded the NATO Medal (Former Yugoslavia) for operations over Yugoslavia (Op DELIBERATE GUARD).

1993 – awarded the General Service Medal (Air Ops Iraq) for operations over Iraq (Op WARDEN).

1988 – awarded the General Service Medal (Northern Ireland) for Op BANNER operations.

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