Former Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force
Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot in 1977 and after flying training, joined No 72 Squadron, flying Wessex helicopters, beginning an association with the Support Helicopter Force which would last 25 years. During his flying career he accumulated over 5000 hours on both Wessex and Chinook helicopters, serving primarily in Germany with No 18 Squadron but including exchange tours with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. He has commanded in every rank and has seen operational service in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Lebanon, the Balkans and the Gulf.
Sir Andrew’s staff appointments have included command of the Support Helicopter Tactics and Trials Flight, a short spell in Headquarters Northern Ireland as the Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps Operational Requirements desk officer, a tour in the British Army’s doctrine organisation and two years as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. He attended No 85 Advanced Staff Course at the Royal Air Force Staff College Bracknell in 1993 and graduated from the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2001. As Station Commander of Royal Air Force Odiham for two years from December 2001, Sir Andrew commanded the UK Chinook Force through a period of unprecedented operational activity, including large scale deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. From command, he moved to the Directorate of Air Resources and Plans in the Ministry of Defence and was subsequently appointed to the position of Director, on promotion to Air Commodore, in August 2004. He was promoted again in February 2007 when he commenced an 18 month tour as AOC No 2 Group, commanding the Royal Air Force’s Air Transport, Air to Air Refuelling and ISTAR forces, before moving back to the Ministry Of Defence in October 2008 to take up the post of Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations). On promotion to Air Marshal in August 2010, Sir Andrew returned to HQ Air Command in the role of Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel & Capability and he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.
Sir Andrew was appointed Chief of the Air Staff in the rank of Air Chief Marshal in July 2013.
He married Nicola in August 1982 and he and Lady Pulford have a daughter and a son. He enjoys sailing, skiing and motorcycling, and when time allows, walking his two dogs.