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Air Commodore Ashley D. Stevenson, CBE, FRAeS


© PHOTOGRAPH of New Westminster College - Air Commodore Ashley D. Stevenson, CBE, FRAeS - Royal Air Force - Senior Fellow of New Westminster College - http://newwestminstercollege.ca

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: Air Commodore Ashley D. Stevenson CBE FRAeS RAF

Air Commodore Ashley D. Stevenson is an Air Commodore in the Royal Air Force and a Senior Fellow of New Westminster College.

Air Commodore Stevenson has a distinguished record of ethical leadership. He was educated at Springhead School for Boys, Kent, and as an Exchange student at the Spanish Air Force Staff College, Madrid, from 1996 to 1997.  Commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1982, he began his operational flying career on Harrier aircraft with IV (Army Cooperation) Squadron at RAF Gütersloh, Germany in 1985.  In 1988, he qualified as a Weapons Instructor, and flew as the Harrier display pilot during the 1989 air display season.  He went on to pioneer fast jet night Electro-Optical tactics, techniques and procedures with 1 (Fighter) Squadron in the early 1990s, then commanded 3 (Fighter) Squadron from 1998 to 2000, which included several periods of operational deployment to the Balkans region, and deployment aboard HMS ILLUSTRIOUS on Operation PALLISER in 2000, where he led the first operational sortie of the newly formed Joint Force Harrier over Sierra Leone.  He then served as Station Commander RAF Wittering from 2005 – 2006, where his principal focus was to create a single hub for RAF expeditionary logistics capabilities and introduce revised command arrangements for Joint Force Harrier.

A series of staff tours throughout his career has included: military strategic policy and advice on the capabilities and operational employment of Harrier, Jaguar, and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft; a NATO tour as Principal Staff Officer to Commander Joint Forces Command Brunssum, during which period Brunssum assumed the first NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and was responsible for the formation of the NATO Response Force; and two short periods at HQ Air Command, firstly as Air Commodore Operations and Force Development, then as Assistant Chief of Staff Operations.

Air Commodore Stevenson’s significant experience in command at the general officer level has included: operational deployment to Afghanistan as the first NATO commander of Kandahar Airfield from 2007 to 2008, with oversight of some 12,000 personnel and a 150 aircraft; Commandant RAF College Cranwell and Director of Recruitment (RAF) from 2008 to 2010, leading a period of unprecedented recruitment surge; and again on operational deployment in the Middle East for the whole of 2011 as the UK Air Component Commander, responsible for RAF operations across the Middle East region and Afghanistan.  Air Commodore Stevenson took up post as Deputy Commander combined Air Operations Centre Finderup, Denmark, in early 2012.

Air Commodore Stevenson’s honours include:

  • 2013: Senior Fellow, New Westminster College
  • 2012: Commander, Order of the British Empire
  • 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2007: Operational Service Medal, Afghanistan with Clasp
  • 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002: General Service Medal, Air Operations Iraq
  • 2001: Officer, Order of the British Empire
  • 2000: Operational Service Medal, Sierra Leone
  • 1999: NATO Medal, Kosovo
  • 1997: NATO Medal, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • 1992: Queen’s Commendation for Bravery

As a Senior Fellow of New Westminster College, Air Commodore Ashley D. Stevenson is dedicated to supporting the highest standards of academic excellence and ethical leadership, and is committed to the advancement of New Westminster College and its Global Network of Fellows.


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