Michael Harwood (RAF officer)

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Michael J Harwood
Michael Harwood Whiteman AFB.jpg
Michael Harwood in November 2010
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Rank Air Vice-Marshal
Commands held British Defence Staff - US
83 EAG
RAF Cottesmore
20 Sqn RAF
Battles/wars Op TELIC
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

Air Vice-Marshal Michael John Harwood CB CBE ADC (born 29 October 1958) is a senior serving Royal Air Force officer and is currently Defence Attaché and Head of the British Defence Staff - US in Washington, D.C..[1] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and at King's College London (MA Defence Studies).

RAF career[edit]

Harwood joined the RAF as a fast-jet pilot in 1978, initially serving as a Flying Instructor on Hawk and Harrier GR3/T4 aircraft. Promoted to Wing Commander, he became Commanding Officer of 20 Squadron RAF (Harrier Operational Conversion Unit) at RAF Wittering in 1998, and following promotion to Group Captain, he became Commander British Forces (Gulf) in Saudi Arabia in 2000. He went on to be Station Commander, RAF Cottesmore in 2001 before being deployed as Operating Base Commander, Kuwait for Op TELIC in 2003. He joined the Public Relations Directorate at the Ministry of Defence in 2004, became Assistant Commandant (Air) at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 2005 and was the appointed Chief of the ISAF Detachment, CENTAF Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid with the rank of Air Commodore in September 2007.[2]

Harwood became Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group, Al Udeid (Air Cdre) in 2008. He was promoted Air Vice-Marshal and appointed Head of the British Defence Staff - US / Defence Attaché in November 2008.[3] He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2012 New Year Honours.[4]


Military offices
Preceded by
Officer Commanding 20 Squadron RAF
1998 – 2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by
D Walker
Station Commander RAF Cottesmore
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Air Officer Commanding No 83 Expeditionary Air Group
2008 – 2008
Succeeded by
A S Barmby
Preceded by
P Gilchrist
Defence Attaché
Head of British Defence Staff - US

2008 –