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Tony Keeling


Group Cap­tain Tony Keel­ing OBE MDA MA BEng CEng FRAeS RAF

Tony has com­mand­ed at flight, squadron and wing lev­el, spend­ing over 17 years in direct sup­port of front line oper­a­tions for Hawk and Tor­na­do. Enlist­ing in 1987 as an Appren­tice he ini­tial­ly trained as an air­frame and propul­sion tech­ni­cian, before com­mis­sion­ing as an engi­neer offi­cer in 1999 after com­plet­ing a cadet­ship at the Roy­al Mil­i­tary Col­lege of Sci­ence. Ini­tial­ly employed on Tor­na­do F3, he twice deployed on oper­a­tions in sup­port of Iraq’s South­ern No Fly Zone. In 2001 he planned and deliv­ered the first air move by C17 of Tor­na­do F3 to the Falk­land Islands. He was appoint­ed Senior Engi­neer­ing Offi­cer of 2(AC) Squadron in 2006, respon­si­ble for the first line main­te­nance of the squadron’s fleet of Tor­na­do GR4, cul­mi­nat­ing in deploy­ment to Oper­a­tion TEL­IC. As OC Engi­neer­ing and Logis­tics Wing at RAF Lossiemouth, he com­mand­ed a team of 750 per­son­nel and held air­wor­thi­ness respon­si­bil­i­ty for 3 Tor­na­do GR4 at Min­had. In 2014 as Chief of Staff Sup­port he led the plan­ning for the rede­ploy­ment of 904 Expe­di­tionary Air Wing from Kan­da­har, Afghanistan. He took com­mand of RAF Wit­ter­ing and the A4 Force Ele­ments in June 2017.

STAFF. Tony has a strong acqui­si­tion and sup­port back­ground hav­ing worked in the Defence Logis­tics Organ­i­sa­tion as Hawk Fleet Man­ag­er and the MOD Sau­di Armed Forces Project man­ag­ing the end-to-end engi­neer­ing and logis­tics sup­port of the RSAF’s Hawk Mk65 fleet. More recent­ly in Defence Equip­ment and Sup­port he reviewed air­wor­thi­ness stan­dards for Riv­et Joint as it entered RAF ser­vice. In 2010 he joined the then new­ly formed Mil­i­tary Avi­a­tion Author­i­ty where he was respon­si­ble to the Direc­tor Gen­er­al for over­sight of the MOD’s finance and mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ty plan­ning process. A sec­ond strand to this role was engage­ment with reg­u­la­tors of rail, avi­a­tion, edu­ca­tion, health­care and the util­i­ties to inform the design of the MAA’s future oper­at­ing mod­el. Pro­mot­ed to group cap­tain in May 2015, Tony was post­ed to Joint Forces Com­mand where he was employed in Joint War­fare as the Chief of Staff for the Anglo-French Com­bined Joint Expe­di­tionary Force; lat­ter­ly the role expand­ed to include devel­op­ment of an assur­ance con­cept for the UK’s oper­a­tional lev­el head­quar­ters. In 2016 he returned to MOD, again employed in the field of finance and mil­i­tary capability.

QUAL­I­FI­CA­TIONS. A grad­u­ate of the Advanced Com­mand and Staff Course and the Wind­sor Lead­er­ship Trust, Tony holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aero­me­chan­i­cal Sys­tems Engi­neer­ing and a Mas­ters in Defence Stud­ies. He also under­took dis­tance learn­ing for a Mas­ter of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion (Defence) from Cran­field Uni­ver­si­ty whilst a squadron leader.

OUT­SIDE WORK. Tony is mar­ried to Bob­by and they at RAF Wit­ter­ing with their two chil­dren. Tom (18) and Alice (19) – Tom is in his last year at King’s School Ely and Alice is in her first year at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don. Tony enjoys run­ning, cycling and long walks with his dogs and cam­era. He is also a Sci­ence Tech­nol­o­gy Engi­neer­ing and Maths Ambas­sador, the RAF’s deputy LGBT+ Advo­cate, trustee of the RAF Hal­ton Appren­tice Trust, a men­tor for the Ark­wright Schol­ars, Char­tered Engi­neer and Fel­low of the Roy­al Aero­nau­ti­cal Society.

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