MRAF Sir Keith Williamson began his RAF career in 1945 as an aircraft apprentice and rose to become the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS); the only apprentice to reach the top post. He trained as a fighter pilot and after a tour on Vampires in Germany, he flew with Meteors in Korea with the Royal Australian Air Force. He flew Hunters and Lightnings before taking command of RAF Gutersloh. He served in SHAPE and was the Air C-in-C of Support Command before taking command of Strike Command. He became the CAS just after the Falkland’s War and the RAF’s role in the South Atlantic occupied much of his time. He was involved in the multi-national discussions to develop the European Fighter Aircraft, which became the Typhoon. He was not in favour of Michael Heseltine’s reforms in the MOD, which involved the single services losing their policy and operational requirements staffs to a centralised organisation.
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