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Brief biographical details of the senior UK commanders involved in Operation Telic

UK National Contingent Commander
Air Marshal Brian Burridge CBE

Air Marshal Burridge joined the Royal Air Force in 1967. His operational background is as a Nimrod pilot in the Maritime Patrol role. He commanded the Nimrod Operational Conversion Unit 1986-8, and RAF Kinloss 1990-2. He has also completed a number of tours as a flying instructor, including command of Cambridge University Air Squadron.

His first staff tour was as Personal Staff Officer to the AOCinC Strike Command. From 1992-7, he served in the MOD as Deputy Director of Force Doctrine (RAF), then as Director of Force Development, and almost three years as the Principal Staff Officer to the Centre of the Defence Staff. Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal in 1998, he was Air Officer Commanding 11/18 Group commanding the RAF's air defence, maritime, and search & rescue forces. He was the Commandant of the Joint Services Command & Staff College from January 2000, then was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Strike Command from February 2002.


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UK National Contingent Chief of Staff
Major General Peter Wall CBE

Peter Wall was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1974, and, after a short period of regimental duty, studied engineering at Cambridge University. He returned to regimental duties with 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers, serving in Belize and Rhodesia. After a tour as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he joined the Queen's Gurkha Engineers in Hong Kong. He attended the Army Staff College in 1987, then served as Chief of Staff of 5 Airborne Brigade, before commanding 9 Parachute Squadron RE. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he served a staff job in Whitehall before taking command of 32 Engineer Regiment in Germany, deploying on operations to Bosnia.

After a further staff appointment, he was promoted to Brigadier and assumed command of 24 Airmobile Brigade in 1999. He was responsible for converting the formation into 16 Air Assault Brigade later that year. He served as Chief of Staff at the Joint Force HQ from April 2001 to February 2003, when he assumed his current responsibilities on promotion.


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Maritime Component Commander
Rear Admiral David Snelson

David Snelson joined the Royal Navy in 1969. As a junior officer, he trained as an Above Water Warfare specialist, served twice on the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training, and served in HMS Cardiff, HMS Ark Royal, and the Australian ships HMAS Derwent and HMAS Parramatta. He also served with the RAF at Buchan as a Fighter Controller. He commanded HMS Liverpool, including operational duties in the Gulf on the Armilla Patrol, and unusually commanded Liverpool a second time in 1997, as Captain commanding Third Destroyer Squadron. Other operational service included a tour in the Adriatic as Operations Officer for the UK and Dutch Task Group, supporting UN operations in the Balkans. He commanded the carrier HMS Ark Royal for 14 months, bringing her to full operational readiness after a major refit and introducing to carrier service the new Merlin helicopter. August 2002 saw him take command of UK Maritime Operations in the Middle East, followed by promotion to Rear Admiral in November 2002 as Commander UK Maritime Forces and the Anti-Submarine Warfare Striking Force.

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Land Component Commander
Major General Robin Brims CBE

Major General Robin Brims was commissioned into the Light Infantry in 1970. As a junior officer he saw service in England, Germany and Northern Ireland. After Staff College, he was appointed Chief of Staff 8 Infantry Brigade. In 1986-7, he commanded a company in Germany and Northern Ireland, before promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. Having served as Military Assistant to the Military Secretary, he commanded 3rd Battalion The Light Infantry in 1989-91 in Germany and Belfast. Following a staff posting as a Colonel in MOD, he commanded 24 Airmobile Brigade at Colchester in 1995-6, deploying to Bosnia as part of the UN's Rapid Reaction Force in 1995. He was Chief of Staff, HQ Northern Ireland, 1997-8, and Director of Army Plans & Resources in 1999. Promoted Major General January 2000, he commanded Multi-National Division (South West) in Bosnia before assuming command of 1(UK) Armoured Division in November 2000.

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Air Component Commander
Air Vice-Marshal Glenn Torpy CBE DSO

Air Vice-Marshal Glenn Torpy joined the Royal Air Force in 1974 after studying aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London. He has completed two tours as a Jaguar reconnaissance pilot, a tour as a Qualified Weapons Instructor on the Hawk, and commanded a Tornado GR1A tactical reconnaissance squadron. He saw active service with 13 Squadron during the Gulf War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Graduating from the RAF Staff College in 1987, he served in a staff appointment at MOD before acting as Personal Staff Officer to the AOCinC Strike Command. He commanded RAF Bruggen in Germany, graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies, and attended the Higher Command & Staff Course. A posting at the Permanent Joint Head Quarters, Northwood, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations included Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. He spent a short time as Director Air Operations at MOD before promotion to Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations). He became Air Officer Commanding 1 Group in March 2001.

 

Deputy to the Head of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid (ORHA)
Major General Tim Cross CBE

Major General Tim Cross was commissioned in 1971, his first tour being with a brigade logistic unit in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). He spent time with 22 Air Defence Regiment Royal Artillery, and returned to BAOR as Adjutant of 1 Ordnance Battalion. He subsequently completed a tour with the UN in Cyprus. In 1988 he became a member of the Directing Staff at the Army Staff College in Camberley before moving back to BAOR in 1990, assuming command of 1 Ordnance Battalion and, simultaneously, as Commander Supply for 1 Armoured Division. It was in this appointment where he deployed to the Gulf in Op Granby. He was promoted in 1992 to Colonel and became the first Commander Logistic Support of 3 (UK) Division.

After promotion to Brigadier in 1995, he became Director of Material Supply and Distribution (Army) in 1996. In 1997 he assumed the post of Director, Matieral Support (Army). At the end of that year, he took command of HQ (UK) NSE with SFOR and, at the same time, assumed command of CSSG (UK) (which was retitled 101 Logistic Brigade in 1999). He deployed to Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo and was the Joint Force Logistic Commander for the UK Contribution to KFOR. In 2000, after attending the Royal College of Defence Studies, he became director General Defence Supply Chain.

 

Commander Amphibious Task Group
Commodore Jamie Miller

Commodore Miller's early service in the Royal Navy included duties aboard the minehunter HMS Bossington helping clear the Suez Canal of ordnance after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, HMS Mohawk, and HMS Sheffield. He commanded the patrol boat HMS Kingfisher off Northern Ireland before serving in HMS Coventry during the Falklands campaign. He survived the loss of the ship to air attack, and next served aboard HMS Danae as Operations Officer. From 1987 he was Second, then First Lieutenant of the Royal Yacht, Britannia, including a circumnavigation of the globe for Her Majesty The Queen's visit to Australia. He then commanded the frigate HMS Avenger, before taking charge of Warfare Officer training at the School of Maritime Operations. In 1993, he became Executive Officer of HMS Ark Royal, participating in peace support operations in the Adriatic. Promoted to Captain, he was Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord before returning to sea as Captain Fourth Frigate Squadron in HMS Marlborough. Anti-narcotics operations by the ship in the Caribbean seized 9.6 tonnes of cocaine. Jamie Miller then served as Deputy to Flag Officer Sea Training, before being appointed Commander Amphibious Task Group in July 2001.

 

Commander 3 Commando Brigade
Brigadier Jim Dutton ADC

Brigadier Dutton joined the Royal Marines in 1972. He served as a rifle troop commander in 42 Commando, including duty in Northern Ireland. After three years at university, he designed training systems and qualified as a Signal Officer. Service with 40 Commando 1980-2 included the Falklands campaign. Duties as a communications officer with HQ 3 Commando Brigade was followed by attendance at the Army Staff College. As well as various staff posts, he has served as Chief of Staff 3 Commando Brigade and commanded officer training at the Commando Training Centre. As Commanding Officer of 40 Commando 1996-8, he took the unit to South East Asia, South Africa, Jordan, and West Africa, the latter deployment against the possibility of mounting an evacuation operation from Kinshasa. Promoted to Brigadier, he was appointed Director of NATO Policy in MOD. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist atrocities, he was sent to Washington as a liaison officer with the Pentagon, before assuming command of 3 Commando Brigade.

 

Commander 7 Armoured Brigade
Brigadier Graham Binns CBE MC

Brigadier Graham Binns was commissioned into The Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1977. Early regimental duties included service in Germany, Norway, and the UK. In 1988 he attended the Canadian Forces Command & Staff College in Toronto, then served as Chief of Staff of 39 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland. He returned to his regiment in 1992 to command a Warrior company, including a tour in Bosnia. He served at the US Infantry School at Fort Benning as an exchange officer in 1994, then returned to the UK as a Lieutenant Colonel to be a member of Directing Staff at the Army Staff College, Camberley. He commanded his battalion in 1997, taking the unit to exercise in Kenya, Belize and Canada, and on operations in Northern Ireland. He headed the team responsible for NATO operational planning in the Balkans, and served as Chief of Staff at HQ KFOR in Kosovo. He assumed command of 7 Armoured Brigade in January 2001.

 

Commander 16 Air Assault Brigade
Brigadier 'Jacko' Page OBE

Brigadier Page joined the Army in 1981, commissioned into the Parachute Regiment. He saw service with the 2nd Battalion as platoon commander, company second-in-command, and company commander. Operational tours include the Falklands, Belize and South Armagh. In 1989, he was seconded to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards to command an armoured squadron of Challenger tanks in Germany, then deployed with the unit to the Gulf for Operation Granby. As well as staff posts in the MOD, he has served as Chief of Staff of 24 Airmobile Brigade and with UNPROFOR in Sarajevo. He assumed command of 16 Air Assault Brigade in December 2002.

 

Commander 102 Logistic Brigade
Brigadier Shaun Cowlam MBE

Brigadier Shaun Cowlam was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1976. Regimental duties were primarily in Germany and Hong Komg, where he served two tours with the Gurkha Transport Regiment. Operational duties have included tours in Northern Ireland, and in Bosnia, where he commanded a Logistic Battalion supporting UN forces. Brigadier Cowlam commanded the Joint Force Logistic Component for Exercise Saif Sareea II in Oman in 2001, and subsequently for Operation Veritas.

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