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Gordon Moulds
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1978-
Rank Air Commodore
Commands held British Forces South Atlantic Islands
Air Cadet Organisation
Operations Wing - RAF Leuchars
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Air Commodore Gordon Moulds, CBE is Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands.


Military career

Air Commodore Gordon Moulds joined the Royal Air Force in 1978 and trained as an Air Electronic Operator on Nimrod aircraft in the Maritime role. He served his first operational tour at RAF Kinloss as a sergeant where he participated in a number of operations, most notably flying from Ascension Island in support of the Falkland Islands’ campaign.

In 1983, he undertook navigator training and was posted to No. 111 Squadron RAF, RAF Leuchars, to operate the Air Defence F-4 Phantom II fighter aircraft. During this period he conducted numerous Quick Reaction Alert sorties (policing the United Kingdom airspace) where he intercepted over 30 Russian aircraft.

In 1988 he became an air defence fast-jet instructor and was posted on to the Phantom Operational Conversion Unit; during this tour he was awarded the MBE. During his time on Phantom aircraft he completed 7 detachments to the Falkland Islands.

On promotion to Squadron Leader he became the aircraft accident Board of Inquiry advisor for Headquarters 11 Group at RAF Bentley Priory. In 1993, he converted on to the Tornado F3 fighter aircraft and became the Executive Officer of the Tornado F3 Operational Training Unit.

On promotion to Wing Commander, he became the Deputy Combined Force Air Component Commander in Turkey, occasionally commanding the allied air forces operation policing the Iraqi no-fly zones. A short tour followed in the Ministry of Defence as the desk officer responsible for advising ministers on air matters relating to the Middle East. In 1998 he became Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Leuchars.

Another short tour followed in the Ministry of Defence, this time as the Personal Staff Officer to the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. On promotion, he was posted to Headquarters 1 Group, Strike Command, as Group Captain Tornado where he was responsible for all operational, training and second customer issues for the Tornado F3, Tornado GR4 and Hawk aircraft.


Commandant Air Cadets

In June 2004 he assumed the post of Chief of Staff/Air Commander in the Falkland Islands. Returning to the UK, he became Commandant Air Cadets on promotion to Air Commodore on 13 October 2006, replacing Air Commodore David Harrison.

Since becoming Commandant Air Cadets, he has visited many units and Squadrons, and has been extremely impressed with the efforts being made by the volunteer staff and the subsequent results for the cadets of those Squadrons, in particular those units that have been able to provide sustained levels of high achievement across the broad range of activities that the ACO provides. The first Squadron visited by the Air Commodore in his new role was 110 (City of York) Squadron, by coincidence his most recent visit to a Squadron was also to a Yorkshire based unit, on that occasion at the invitation of Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen in her capacity as a member of the Air Cadet Council and Honorary President of 2168 (Yeadon) Squadron. The Commandant Air Cadets has also visited the Swynnerton camp, run by Staffordshire Wing,on several occasions and has been very impressed by the activities and commitment from staff and cadets.
Air Commodore Moulds instigated a number of wide ranging initiatives in the Air Cadet Organisation and introduced a Strategic Plan for the next ten years. Amongst these initiatives are:- The development of Regional Activity Centres providing weekend activities with advanced technology flight simulators and equipment alongside air experience flying or gliding; The introduction of a “Cadet CV” to collate the records of activities of individual cadets and provide evidence to future employers; An updating of the syllabus to relate to 21st century teenagers and bringing in web based training packages; The continued roll out of Project BADER bringing a Corps wide IT system of communication, information and training.[1]

Air Commodore Moulds handed over command of the ACO to Air Commodore Ian Stewart in May 2008.[2]

Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands

Air Commodore Moulds became Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands on 14 June 2008.[3] He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours [4]. He was replaced by Commodore Phillip Thicknesse in December 2009 [5].

Published works

  • The Lightning Conversion Units 1960 - 1987


Military offices
Preceded by
David Harrison
Commandant Air Cadets
Succeeded by
Ian Stewart
Preceded by
Brigadier N R Davies
Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Commodore Phillip Thicknesse


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