As commanding officer of XIII Squadron, he deployed on Operation Jural, the United Kingdom's contribution to Operation Southern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq. He then moved on to high command, serving as Head of Air Operations at the Ministry of Defence during the preparations for and conduct of Operation Telic in Iraq. Most recently he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff, the professional head of the Royal Air Force, in which role he advised the British Government on the deployment of air power during the Libyan conflict. In that capacity he implemented 2,700 redundancies, as determined by the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Sir Stephen Dalton
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton in Afghanistan, January 2010
|Lieutenant Governor of Jersey|
|Assumed office |
13 March 2017
|Preceded by||Sir John McColl|
|Born||23 April 1954|
|Alma mater||University of Bath|
|Branch/service||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1976–2013|
|Rank||Air Chief Marshal|
|Commands||Chief of the Air Staff|
Air Member for Personnel
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
Dalton was commissioned as a University Cadet on 16 September 1973, before being regraded as a pilot officer following graduation on 15 July 1976. Dalton was promoted to flying officer on 15 January 1977, and then flight lieutenant on 15 October 1977. He flew the SEPECAT Jaguar on three tours, operating from the UK and Germany in both ground attack and tactical reconnaissance roles. Dalton was promoted to squadron leader on 1 July 1984, and awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in the 1987 New Year Honours.
Following the Advanced Staff Course, training to fly the Panavia Tornado, and promotion to wing commander on 1 July 1990, Dalton commanded XIII Squadron. He deployed on Operation Jural, the United Kingdom's contribution to Operation Southern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq.
Dalton was promoted to group captain on 1 July 1994, and in 1997 took command of RAF Coltishall and the RAF's Jaguar force. On promotion to air commodore on 1 January 2000, he was appointed Head of the Eurofighter Typhoon Programme Assurance Group at the Ministry of Defence. Following the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2002, Dalton was appointed Head of Air Operations, also at the Ministry of Defence. His tenure in this role was dominated by the preparations for and conduct of Operation Telic in Iraq.
On promotion to air vice marshal on 14 May 2003, Dalton was appointed Director Information Superiority. He was also appointed Controller Aircraft in 2004, retaining this post upon his appointment as Director Typhoon on 2 May 2006. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2006 New Year Honours.
On 1 May 2007, Dalton was promoted to air marshal, and appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel at Air Command and Air Member for Personnel. In the 2009 Birthday Honours he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. He was promoted to air chief marshal and appointed Chief of the Air Staff, and Air Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II, on 31 July 2009. Dalton was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2012 Birthday Honours.
In light of the Libyan conflict, Dalton warned that there "was a heck of a lot to be doing" and that the military was nearing the point of "exhaustion". The RAF became the first part of the military to bring in the cuts when it spelled out its plans for 2,700 lay-offs in April 2011, following the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, and Dalton admitted that some were likely to be compulsory. On 24 June 2011 The Daily Telegraph confirmed that Dalton, in common with the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the General Staff, would lose his position on the Defence Board, the highest non-ministerial Ministry of Defence committee, which makes decisions on all aspect of military policy. He retired in July 2013.
Dalton was appointed as Honorary Air Commodore to the RAF Regiment on 21 September 2013, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns. He became Vice President of the Yorkshire Air Museum in 2009 before taking up the post of President in 2015.
Dalton's interests include sports, theatre and history. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Leicester in 2011 and an honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Bath in 2013.
A. P. Waldron
| Head Air Operations, Ministry of Defence
| Director Information Superiority, Ministry of Defence
S. D. Butler
D. N. Williams
| Controller Aircraft|
Personnel and Training Command
| Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel, Air Command
B. M. Thornton
| Air Member for Personnel|
Sir Glenn Torpy
| Chief of the Air Staff
Sir Andrew Pulford
Sir John McColl
| Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
| King of Arms of the Order of the Bath
2018 – present
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Percival Graham Leggett (14 February 1921 – 26 May 2013) was a Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force and was one of the youngest pilots to survive the Battle of Britain during World War II.
Leggett joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in June 1939 as an Airman under training Pilot. He was called up for active duty on 1 September 1939 and he completed his training and arrived at No.5 OTU at Aston Down in September 1940. On 18 September he crashed at Oldbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire but was unhurt.
Leggett was posted to No. 615 Squadron RAF at RAF Prestwick soon afterwards, moving to No. 245 Squadron RAF at RAF Aldergrove on 28 September and then to No. 46 Squadron RAF at RAF Stapleford on 18 October 1940.He claimed a Fiat BR.20 probably destroyed and shared in the destruction of another on 11 November. Leggett was posted to No. 145 Squadron RAF in late November 1940 and then No. 96 Squadron RAF when it was formed at RAF Cranade on 18 December 1940. In late June 1941 Leggett joined No. 249 Squadron RAF in Malta and he claimed a Macchi C.200 on 17 July. He was shot down by enemy fighters on 21 December 1941, baled out and was admitted to hospital with slight abrasions. He then joined No. 73 Squadron in North Africa in October 1942, until August 1943.
On return to the UK he became Adjutant at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsay, after which he served in Ceylon.
In 1949 he became CO of 32 squadron, flying de Havilland Vampires from Cyprus.
Graham Leggett retired from the RAF on 23 May 1958 holding the rank of Squadron Leader.
Leggett died peacefully on 26 May 2013 at the age of 92. His funeral, held on 12 June, was attended by Air Vice Marshal Carl Dixon CB, OBE, who was representing the Prince of Wales. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC LLD BSc FRAes CCMI RAF, sent a letter of condolence to Leggett's wife and their family.John McColl
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