Girish Mahajan

Susan Gray

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Birth name  Susan Catherine Jessop
Years of service  1985 – present
Battles/wars  Gulf War Iraq War
Battles and wars  Gulf War, Iraq War
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Rank  Air Vice-Marshal
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Commands held  No. 38 Group RAF
Awards  Order of the British Empire, Order of the Bath

Susan gray a legacy of hope


Air Vice-Marshal Susan Catherine "Sue" Gray, CB, OBE (née Jessop; born 1962/1963) is a British engineer and senior Royal Air Force officer. She has been Air Officer Commanding No 38 Group since June 2016, having previously served as Director of Combat Air at Defence Equipment and Support in the Ministry of Defence (2014–16).

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Early life and education

Gray was born in 1962 or 1963. She studied electronics at Newcastle Polytechnic (now the Northumbria University), graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Military career

Gray joined the Engineer Branch of the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) in 1985. She was promoted to flying officer on 18 February 1986, and to flight lieutenant on 18 February 1989. In 1991, she was deployed with the Support Helicopter Force to Iraq as part of the Gulf War. On 15 June 1992, she moved from a Short Service Commission to a Permanent Commission, and therefore extended her service time to retirement age.

In 1994, the Women's Royal Air Force merged into the previously all-male Royal Air Force (RAF). Since then, Gray has served in the RAF. On 1 July 1994, as part of the half-yearly promotions, she was promoted to squadron leader. On 1 January 2001, as part of the half-yearly promotions, she was promoted to wing commander. In 2003, she was once more deployed to Iraq, this time as part of Operation Telic (the Iraq War) and served as Chief Engineer for the Joint Helicopter Force. On 1 January 2005, as part of the half-yearly promotions, she was promoted to air commodore.

On 29 January 2014, Gray was promoted to air vice-marshal and appointed Director of Combat Air at Defence Equipment and Support in the Ministry of Defence. In that role she was "responsible for the procurement and maintenance of all combat aircraft, training aircraft and remotely-piloted air systems for the armed forces". She is only the second female officer to be promoted to two-star rank (major general in the British Army, rear admiral in the Royal Navy or air vice marshal in the Royal Air Force) in the British Armed Forces; the first was Elaine West who had been promoted to air vice-marshal in August 2013. In February 2016, it was announced that she would be the next Air Officer Commanding No 38 Group. She took up the appointment on 16 June 2016 in succession to Tim Bishop.

In the 2005 New Year Honours, Gray was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In the 2017 New Year Honours, she was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).

Gray is a recipient of three campaign medals; the General Service Medal, the Gulf Medal, and the Iraq Medal. She is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

References

Susan Gray Wikipedia


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