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 IT²EC 2024 - defence training and technology event
Stuart Atha KBE, CB, DSO MA BSc

Stuart Atha KBE, CB, DSO MA BSc

Director of Training Strategy, BAE Systems
United Kingdom

Stuart Atha joined BAE Systems in May 2020 and is responsible for the development and delivery of the Air Training Strategy, a remit that has expanded recently to include enterprise-wide multi-domain training. He is a member of the Air Board and is Head of the UK delegation to the NATO Industry Advisory Group. Stuart joined the RAF in 1984 after reading mathematics and physics at Glasgow University and flying with the Air Squadron. Following a tour as an instructor on the Hawk aircraft, he flew the Harrier from 1990 to 2003, flying combat missions over Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. Stuart commanded RAF Coningsby and the Typhoon Force 2006-2008 and worked closely with BAE Systems to deliver critical Typhoon operational milestones in this period. Furthermore, Stuart also had the privilege of displaying Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight during this tour. In 2009/10 he deployed to Qatar and commanded the UK Air Component operating in the Gulf and Afghanistan.

In 2011 he headed the Ministry of Defence’s Libyan operations team, reporting directly to the UK National Security Council. From 2011-14, Stuart commanded No 1 Group, which comprised a diverse array of air and space forces including combat aircraft, ISTAR assets and the National Air and Space Operations Centre. As the UK Air Defence Commander, he was responsible for developing and delivering the London Olympics’ Air Security Plan in 2012. Stuart’s staff experience includes posts as the Harrier Tactics officer in the RAF Air Warfare Centre and as personal staff officer to the Chief of the Air Staff and Head of Joint Capability in the MOD. He was deputy commander of the Permanent Joint Headquarters responsible for UK and NATO operations. Stuart’s final tour in uniform was as Deputy Commander of the RAF, the Air Force Board member responsible for all RAF operations from 2016-2019, a tour that was dominated by the counter-ISIS campaign in Iraq/Syria and the NATO response to a resurgent Russia. Immediately prior to joining BAE Systems he acted as a strategic advisor to both ViaSat and the Norfolk Covid Response Force. Stuart is Honorary Vice-President of the Friends of Metheringham Airfield. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham, lecturing on contemporary air power subjects, and patron of the Jon Egging Trust, a charity that seeks to inspire and develop young people. In a similar vein, he is a flying officer reservist who enjoys flying Air Cadets on No 5 Air Experience Flight at RAF Wittering. He lives in Teddington with his wife Caroline and has 5 adult children.