Astra is developing an innovation mindset that engages and inspires the whole force, at all levels. This will unleash the ingenuity of our people to deliver meaningful change across the RAF, including for operational problem sets.
Ad Astra or To The Stars
The RAF of the future must be ready to face the threats and challenges of the future in our rapidly changing world, particularly with technological advancement. The RAF's ability to think differently, challenge the status quo and innovate will be fundamental to our future success.
Air Vice-Marshal Tim Jones CBE
Air Vice-Marshal Tim Jones took responsibility for Astra in 2023.
He joined the RAF in 1995 as a pilot and began his operational career in 1999 flying the Hercules C-130, first on LXX Squadron and subsequently on 24 Squadron and 30 Squadron. Qualified in all air-land and air-drop disciplines, his aircrew operational experience took him to East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Falkland Islands, as well as in support of 16 Air Assault Brigade as the RAF’s Lead Captain.
In 2013, he served in the British Embassy, Kabul in the Strategic Communications role for UK Forces. He has served in the Capability Sponsor (MOD) and in Finance and Military Capability Plans (MOD) and was responsible for devising the RAF’s Strategic Workforce Plan during the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
From 2016, Jones commanded RAF Brize Norton, the RAF’s largest station, before attending the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2018. From 2019, Jones was the UK’s Air Component Commander in the Middle East, before being appointed Head of Air Resources and Plans in HQ Air Command in 2020. In 2022, Jones became Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans); in 2023 this merged with the role of Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Strategy) and Jones became Assistant Chief of the Air Staff.