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Air Commodore Dai Whittingham
Dai Whittingham joined the RAF as a pilot in 1974. He flew Phantoms for 7 years in the Air Defence fighter role, ending as the senior instructor pilot and standards evaluator for the Phantom force. His early flying career included 3 years as a QFI providing basic flying training on the Jet Provost, during which time he was also the Jet Provost display pilot. After a period of staff duties he returned to flying as a squadron commander on the E-3D AWACS (B-707), deploying in support of NATO operations in the Balkans. He was then selected to command RAF Waddington, where he continued to fly the E-3D.
Following attendance at the Royal College of Defence Studies, Dai was deployed as the Air Component Commander for all UK flying operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, prior to taking up an MOD operational management appointment. His MOD duties included policy for air safety, UK and European airspace, ATM aircraft equipment, and UAVs; he also chaired the Military Aviation Regulatory Group and was a lay member of the Surgeon General’s Committee on Aircrew Medical Standards. His next UK staff tour saw him with responsibility for operational management and oversight of all RAF airborne surveillance platforms, including Predator and Sentinel, and the RAF Search and Rescue Force.
Dai’s last formal military appointment was as Deputy Commander for the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, where he was responsible for strategic and operational direction of the programme, regulation and oversight of operations, logistics and safety, development of acquisition requirements, and continued airworthiness. Dai joined the UKFSC as Chief Executive in February 2012.