Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston KCB, CBE
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston is a Visiting Professor with the Freeman Air and Space Institute, based in the School of Security Studies. Sir Mike completed a four-year term as Chief of the Air Staff in June 2023.
Commissioned on a University Cadetship in 1986, studying Engineering Science at Oriel College, Oxford, Sir Mike completed his pilot training in 1992 on the Tornado GR1. His frontline experience included operational deployments enforcing the no-fly zones in Iraq; command of 12(Bomber) Squadron, flying the Tornado GR4; and appointments in operational headquarters in Qatar, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
In January 2015, he was appointed Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Commander of 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 included: Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, responsible for the strategic coherence of the Royal Air Force and oversight of the 2018 RAF100 centenary programme; and Deputy Commander Capability, delivering all aspects of Royal Air Force capability including people, equipment, infrastructure and training.
As Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Mike set the strategic direction for the Royal Air Force, including oversight of global air and space operations. He led the Service through the pandemic and over a period when the Royal Air Force has been more engaged and busier than at any time in a generation: protecting the UK’s skies and space; the air evacuations from Kabul and Sudan; the continuing fight against violent extremists in Iraq and Syria; bolstering NATO, and supporting Ukraine, in the face of Russian aggression.