moran_christopherMESSAGE FROM AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR STEPHEN DALTON, CHIEF OF AIR STAFF

"It is with great sadness and shock that I announce the untimely death of Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran KCB OBE MVO ADC MA BSc FRAeS RAF on Wednesday 26 May 2010.

"Sir Chris had been the Commander-in-Chief of Air Command for the last 14 months.  During a distinguished career, he served in a wide number of appointments; a Harrier pilot by background, he commanded Royal Air Force Wittering and was the Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group.

"Sir Chris was also Equerry to The Duke of Edinburgh in the early 1990s. A highly respected and courageous leader, this tragic loss comes as a huge blow to the Royal Air Force and, indeed, Defence at large.

"Most importantly, our prayers and thoughts are with his family, to whom I offer my most sincere condolences on behalf of the Royal Air Force, serving and retired."

BIOGRAPHY

Air Chief Marshal Sir Chris Moran (born April 1956) joined the RAF as a University Cadet and gained an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering at UMIST. Following pilot training, he was posted to the Harrier aircraft and served on No IV(AC) Squadron, based in Germany. He also served in Belize, the Falkland Islands and embarked in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during this tour. In 1985 he was posted on exchange duties with the United States Marine Corps in North Carolina. He returned to RAF Wittering to become a flight commander on the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit. Following Advanced Staff College, he completed a short tour of duty in the Ministry of Defence before serving as Equerry to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. In 1994 he took command of No IV(AC) Squadron; he flew during Operation WARDEN (NORTHERN WATCH) and led the Squadron during NATO's Operation DELIBERATE FORCE. Promoted Group Captain in 1996, he served as a staff officer at Headquarters No 1 Group before taking command of RAF Wittering in 1997. During his time in command, Wittering based aircraft flew on Operation BOLTON as a joint force aboard HMS INVINCIBLE. In 1999, after attending the Higher Command and Staff Course, he served as a Divisional Director at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, where he completed an MA in Defence Studies. Promoted Air Commodore in 2000, he moved to the Ministry of Defence as Director of the Air Staff. He took up his next appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff's Liaison Officer to the Joint Staff in the Pentagon in November 2002, during which he was involved in the planning and execution of Operation TELIC/IRAQI FREEDOM. Promoted Air Vice-Marshal in 2003, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, where he had responsibility for all Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fast jet forces and for sustaining those forces in operations over Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005 he was appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, at the Ministry of Defence, where he was responsible for RAF strategy development during a period of significant change. Promoted Air Marshal in 2007, he became the Deputy Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum: NATO's operational level headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. He was promoted Air Chief Marshal and appointed Commander-in-Chief Air Command on 3 April 2009.

In his spare time, Air Chief Marshal Moran enjoyed skiing, messing around in boats and reading military history. He was President of RAF Triathlon and Admiral of the RAF Sailing Association.

He leaves his wife Elizabeth; two daughters, both at university, and a son at school.