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Air Chief Sir Mike Wigston in conversation with Caroline Wyatt at Freeman - 5 December 2022

Please note that this event has passed.


The Freeman Air and Space Institute, King's College London, is delighted to host Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, who will be in conversation with Caroline Wyatt, BBC Radio 4 presenter of Saturday PM and the BBC’s defence correspondent from 2007 to 2014.

This inaugural annual event for the Institute will take place in-person on Monday 5 December at Bush House, King’s College London at 6.15pm.

This will be a unique opportunity to hear from Chief of the Air Staff himself at a public event reflecting on his career and the experience of commanding the Royal Air Force during a time that has spanned a pandemic, three Prime Ministers and war in Europe. This will be followed by questions from the audience.

This annual event for the Institute will take place in-person on Monday 5 December at Bush House, King’s College London at 6.15pm - 7.30pm.

Please note: doors will open at 6.15pm and the event will begin at 6.30pm.

Places can be booked in person or online.  

Disclaimer: For in-person events we have a policy for overbooking for places given dropout rates on the day, so please ensure you arrive in good time to avoid disappointment on the night.

Air Chief Sir Mike Wigston biography:

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston was appointed Chief of the Air Staff on 26 July 2019. Commissioned on a University Cadetship in 1986, he completed his pilot training on the Tornado GR1 in 1992 followed by a succession of frontline tours, including operational deployments enforcing the no-fly zones in Iraq. He commanded 12(Bomber) Squadron, flying the Tornado GR4 and leading the Squadron on two operational tours in Iraq and large force exercises in Canada, Malaysia and the USA. Appointments in operational headquarters have included Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar, as the Chief of Combat Operations in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre; Basrah International Airport, Iraq as Commander 903 Expeditionary Air Wing; and one year in Afghanistan as the Director Air Operations in Headquarters ISAF Joint Command.

Staff appointments in the Ministry of Defence have included the Operations Directorate and the predecessor to what is now Military Strategic Effects. In 2013, after a short spell as the Tornado Force Commander, he became the Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff. In January 2015, he was appointed Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Commander British Forces Cyprus, responsible for the civil governance of the Sovereign Base Areas and command of British forces based permanently in Cyprus.

Senior Royal Air Force appointments have included Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, responsible for the strategic coherence and coordination of the Royal Air Force, and oversight of the RAF100 centenary programme. Prior to becoming Chief of the Air Staff, he was Deputy Commander Capability, responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all aspects of Royal Air Force capability including people, equipment, infrastructure and training.

Education and training includes: reading Engineering Science at Oriel College, Oxford; the Advanced Command and Staff Course; an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London; the Higher Command and Staff Course; and the UK Pinnacle Course. He is a Vice Patron of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and President of the Royal Air Force Rowing Association.

Caroline Wyatt biography:

Caroline Wyatt was born in Sydney, Australia in 1967, and studied German and English at Southampton University before joining the BBC in 1991.

For almost two decades, she reported on global affairs as a foreign correspondent based in Germany, France and later Russia, as well as covering conflicts ranging from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Israel.

She returned to the UK in 2007 to work as the BBC's defence correspondent until 2014, covering the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the battles behind the scenes in Whitehall.

Caroline was awarded the Desmond Wettern Prize for her coverage of the Royal Navy, and received a special award from the Air League for her reporting on the RAF.

In 2014, Caroline moved from reporting defence to covering global religious affairs before a diagnosis of MS curtailed her travels in 2016.

She now works as the presenter of BBC R4’s Saturday PM news and current affairs programme.

Her most recent radio documentary was on the legacy of the Afghan war on British veterans, ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ broadcast on Radio 4 in April.


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