Wing Commander Gary Kelly was a member of Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron prior to joining the Royal Air Force in 1983, having gained a BSc (Hons) in Management Science.  After flying training he was posted to RAF Scampton on CFS where he was trained as a QFI.

His first tour was at RAF Church Fenton teaching on the Jet Provost.  In 1988 he underwent tactical weapons training before being posted to 12 (B) Sqn at RAF Lossiemeouth, flying Buccaneer S2B and Hunter aircraft.  During this tour he was detached to RAF Muharraq and flew several operational missions during Op GRANBY.  Having converted to the Tornado GR1 he joined IX (B) Sqn based at RAF Bruggen, specialising in the SEAD role; during the tour he flew over 100 missions into Iraq.  In 1997 he was posted as an instructor at the Tornado OCU, based at RAF Cottesmore.
Promoted to Squadron Leader in 1998 he took command of the University of Birmingham Air Squadron.  In March 2000 he took a staff appointment at the Flying Training Development Wing, investigating current and future training systems including Typhoon and Joint Combat Aircraft programmes.  Promoted to Wing Commander in 2002, he was appointed SO1 J3 Air in the UK Joint Force HQ, PJHQ.  During the tour he was lead of numerous Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Teams taking part in operations in Africa and the Indian sub-continent.  During OP TELIC, he was the senior J3/5 Air advisor to the UK National Contingent Commander in the UK National Contingent HQ, Qatar, throughout the build-up to and conduct-of operations.   Wing Commander Kelly attended Advanced Command and Staff College in Canberra, Australia, during 2004.  In February 2005 he was posted to Al Udeid, Qatar, where he was Chief of Combat Operations in the CAOC, leading a predominantly US team conducting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  He assumed command of 208 Sqn, RAF Valley on 20 Dec 05.  Wing Commander Kelly enjoys hill walking, shooting and cooking.  He is married to Nicola, a lecturer in horticulture, and they have 2 children.

 

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