Portrait of Air Marshal Sean Reynolds

Air Marshal Sean Reynolds


Air Officer Northern Ireland supports the Air Force Board Executive Committee, through the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, in order to enhance the public image and positive awareness of the RAF across Northern Ireland.

In line with the Defence Mission, the RAF Command Plan, and the RAF Engagement Strategy, Air Officer Northern Ireland establishes and maintains close liaison and working relationships with: Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (RFCA); Leaders and Officials of the Northern Ireland Office, Education Authorities and local Councils; Lord Lieutenants; Regional senior Royal Navy and Army representatives; Academia; Industry; Charities (esp Service Charities); Veterans; and Irish Air Corps.


A Support Helicopter pilot, Air Marshal Sean Reynolds was commissioned at RAF College Cranwell in 1984 and following pilot training was posted to fly Chinooks on 7 Squadron at RAF Odiham. Shortly after joining the Squadron he was selected to join the Special Forces Flight as the first ever ab-initio. During the 1991 Gulf War, he flew a number of missions into Iraq for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On return he attended the Central Flying School (Helicopters) where he qualified as a helicopter flying instructor before returning to the Special Forces Flight as the resident Qualified Helicopter Instructor.

Promotion to Squadron Leader followed with a flight commander appointment on 18 Squadron in Germany where he formed and lead 1310 Chinook Flight in support of NATO operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, receiving the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service. Following promotion to Wing Commander, he spent four months in Bosnia as the Commander of the UK Joint Helicopter Force prior to attending the Joint Services Command and Staff College. On completion of this course he commanded No 27 Squadron, at RAF Odiham. During this time he led the Squadron on operational deployments to Afghanistan, for which he was awarded the OBE and latterly to Iraq. On his return from Iraq he became the Personal Staff Officer to the 4* Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command.

In October 2005 Reynolds was promoted to Group Captain and appointed as the Station Commander of RAF Odiham. Following station command he attended the Higher Command and Staff Course and the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2008 and was made a CBE. Promoted to Air Commodore in December 2008 he held the appointment of Head of Air Resources and Plans in the MoD until 2010 before moving to become Head of Strategy Management and the Equipment Plan. On promotion to Air Vice-Marshal, he took command of No 2 Group in January 2013 and also held the position of Chief of Staff Operations Air Command between Apr 13 and Mar 14. In June 2015 he was seconded to industry with the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group as the Programme Director for their Aviation Services Business Unit before returning to the RAF in May 2016 as the Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel and Capability.

Since leaving full time service in 2018 he has developed a portfolio career. This includes Chair of the Board of Spencer Private Hospitals, a NED on the Board of East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Air Officer for Northern Ireland and Head of Training for Elite Helicopters. He has three grown up sons and is married to Lindy who is Chief Exec of the National Cyber Security Centre. Away from the RAF he is still passionate about flying. He is the CFI of his gliding club and instructs PPL students on civilian helicopters and light aircraft. As a qualified Day Skipper, and keen dinghy sailor, he was also President of the RAF Sailing Association, making him the only Admiral in the RAF.

Connect with Air Officer Northern Ireland