New Commander for RAF Northolt: GROUP CAPTAIN T J O'BRIEN
Group Captain Tim O'Brien was born in 1968 and educated at Worth School in Sussex. He was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1991 and, following flying training, he joined Number 101 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in 1997, qualifying on the VC10 in the Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) role. During his first tour, he was involved in a variety of worldwide exercises and also flew in support of operations over Kosovo.
In 2000, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and became a Flight Commander on 10 Squadron, again flying the VC10 but with the additional role of Air Transport. During this tour, he supported operations in Sierra Leone, and deployed to Seeb in Oman flying AAR operations over Afghanistan. He also commanded the Op TELIC Aeromedical Detachment which enabled the recovery of over 1000 casualties from Kuwait and Iraq.
In 2003, he was appointed as Personal Staff Officer to Air Officer Commanding No 2 Group who was responsible for all RAF Air Transport, AAR, ISTAR and Fighter Control assets in addition to the RAF Regiment.
In 2005, he was promoted to Wing Commander and attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College where he completed a Masters Degree in International Relations and Military Studies. Following Staff College, he commanded Number 902 Expeditionary Air Wing at Seeb, tasked with providing ISTAR and AAR support over Afghanistan. He then took command of Number 101 Squadron during which he conducted a number of operational deployments in support of Operations TELIC and HERRICK. Following Squadron Command, he was posted to the Ministry of Defence as the Air Environment specialist in the Operations Directorate and was involved in a number of contingent operations including Op DEFERENCE and the early stages of Op ELLAMY. He was subsequently promoted and takes command of RAF Northolt in May 2011.
His interests include most sports and reading. He is a particularly keen follower of England’s rugby team, and keeps fit although this can occasionally conflict with his passion for cooking. He is married to Katherine and has four children, William (12), Emily (9), Anna (2) and Laura (4 months).