Wing News

Senior Officer becomes HIOW Wing Honorary President

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Air Vice-Marshal Paul Luker CB OBE AFC RAF (Ret’d) has kindly accepted the offer of OC Wing to become Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing Honorary President with immediate effect. A long term resident of Hampshire and RAF Odiham AVM Luker is also Chief Executive of UK Council of Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA).

AVM Luker joined the Royal Air Force direct from school through the RAF College Cranwell cadetship scheme in 1968. After graduating in 1971 he trained as a support helicopter pilot, before his first posting (to Hong Kong) later that year. Subsequent flying tours have included a long exchange posting with the Army Air Corps, during which the Lynx was introduced, and operational service in Northern Ireland, the Gulf and FRY. His experience on a wide range of battlefield helicopters and varied theatres also led to him being selected to set up and command an independent tactics and trials unit for support helicopters. Other command appointments included posts with 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, Officer Commanding No 7 Squadron and Station Commander RAF Odiham. His operational flying has included qualification on Whirlwind, Wessex, Lynx, Scout, Gazelle, Puma and Chinook.

AVM Luker has served in a variety of staff appointments, mostly in operations and policy branches, including 3 posts in MOD. As a Group Captain he served on the personal staff of CINCNORTHWEST, during the establishment of the NATO Headquarters at High Wycombe. More recently, as an Air Commodore, he spent 3 years as Director of Overseas Military Activity, with responsibility for all the UK’s defence activities outside the European region, including direction and oversight of a large number of joint service operations, deployments, loan service posts and diplomatic missions. AVM Luker is a graduate of the RAF Staff College (1985), the Royal College of Defence Studies (1998) and the Higher Command and Staff College (2002). He retired from the Royal Air Force in 2006 following 3 years in command of the Joint Helicopter Command and a 7-month operational tour as the deputy commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, from which he moved to his present appointment with the Council of RFCAs in Spring 2006.

It is a great honour to have AVM Luker as our Honorary President and hopefully all cadets and staff will have the opportunity to meet him as he acquaints himself with the units and activities throughout the Wing.