DOTC(A) Programme Manager, SO1 Synthetics, Royal Air Force HQ Air Command
Born in Dec 71, Ruari joined the RAF in Aug 93, having completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical engineering at Loughborough University. On completion of IOT and Navigator training, he was posted to 17(F) Sqn at RAF Bruggen, where he was one of the last crews to qualify in the nuclear strike role on the Tornado GR1 and completed several detachments to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to enforce the Southern No Fly Zone. When 17(F) Sqn was disbanded in Mar 99, Ruari was posted to 14 Sqn and took part in operations over Kosovo. Following this he qualified as an Electronic Warfare instructor and Pairs Leader, as well as helping relocate the sqn to RAF Lossiemouth.
In 2001, Ruari was posted to XV(R) Sqn, the Tornado GR4 OCU teaching ab-initio and refresher students to operate the aircraft. He completed a four year tour, acting as Sqn EWI, Stn CSRO and deputy Flt Cdr, and qualifying as an ACO and Fours Leader. Ruari subsequently served on 12(B) Sqn from 2005 to 2006, again acting as a Deputy Flt Cdr and gaining Air Combat Leader status before being selected for promotion.
Ruari served as SO2 Development at the Air Warfare Centre from Jun 06 to Aug 08, becoming involved in trials facilitation and staffing for a wide number of platforms, before completing an OOA tour as SO2 A3 in the CAOC at Al Udeid, following which he was posted back to XV(R) Sqn as a Flt Cdr. Ruari acted as Sqn XO for most of his tour, helping the sqn implement a number of necessary changes and deliver a step change in output. In Jul 11, he was posted to the PJHQ as SO2 Issues and then as Desk Officer for the Op HERRICK Operations Team in J3, spending 3 months in HQ Task Force Helmand as the PJHQ Liaison Officer, before being selected for promotion to Wg Cdr and for ASST in Jul 12. Ruari completed AST and the associated Kings’ College London MA in Jul 13, writing his Defence Research Project on the feasibility of replacing the RAF’s current, aging ISTAR assets with a fleet of multi-mission aircraft.
Following successful completion of AST, Ruari was posted to HQ Air to head up the Capability Integration Cell within 1 Gp. In Nov 2014 he was selected to command RAF Spadeadam, the RAF’s Electronic Warfare Trials and Training facility. He remained at RAF Spadeadam until Aug 17 before completing a 6-month Out-of-Area appointment as Chief of Combat ops within the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar, where he was responsible to the CFACC for daily management of Air Operations over Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Apr 18 Ruari was posted to HQ Air as the SO1 Programme Manager for the Defence Operational Training Capability (Air) (DOTC(A)). Since then he has been responsible for guiding the DOTC(A) programme to Main Gate and into the Delivery Phase. Since Dec 18 Ruari has acted as Programme Manager and as the UK Head of Delegation to the 5EYES Air Force Interoperability Council Operational Training Infrastructure Working Group.
Ruari has 2 daughters, aged 20 and 13, who currently live in the North East; all other interests take second place to spending time with them whenever possible. Ruari maintains a keen interest in competitive fencing and was until recently the Chairman of the RAF’s Fencing Union; he also enjoys participating in a number of other sports. He also attempts to maintain a level of proficiency on horse-back in an (increasingly vain) attempt to keep up with his daughters.