Air Vice-Marshal Colin Da'Silva

The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) (ACAS (Plans)) is the 2-star commander of Air Command’s Central Business Pillar. Reporting directly to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), ACAS (Plans) is responsible for Air TLB Portfolio and Performance Management, and RAF Command Plan development, ensuring the balanced delivery of the RAF Strategy through evidence-based decision making.


Born in Birmingham, Air Vice-Marshal Colin Da’Silva was commissioned into the RAF in 1986.  On completion of training he served on 92(F) Squadron, operating the F4 Phantom from RAF Wildenrath; from where he deployed to participate in the first Gulf War. Following conversion to the Tornado F3 in 1991 he served on the frontline, deploying twice on Operation Deny Flight to conduct operational missions over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.  He was a Tornado F3 OCU instructor and served on the operational test and evaluation unit.  In command, Da’Silva led 905 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) in the Falkland Islands where following promotion to Group Captain he commanded HQ Joint Ground Based Air Defence, responsible for the UK’s land-based SHORAD capability.  His final operational tour was in command of 903 EAW (Camp Bastion) in Afghanistan during a testing 2011/12.

During staff tours Da’Silva served as a career manager, a programmer in Air Resources and Plans and graduated from the Advanced Staff College where he was awarded an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London.  As a Group Captain he was the military member of Lord Levene’s Defence Reform Team. He also worked in the Cabinet Office, completing a study into the UK’s Gulf Security Strategy before deploying to the US as an air attaché in Washington DC in 2015. Promoted to Air Commodore in early 2016, Da’Silva completed Russian language training and deployed to Moscow as Defence Attaché. On return to the UK in March 2018 he completed a study for VCDS to assess the coherence of the MOD contribution to Ukraine. In September 2018, Da’Silva moved to HQ Air Command and became Head of Air Transformation, prior to his appointment as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans).

Air Vice-Marshal Da’Silva enjoys reading, trying to maintain his Russian language skills and road cycling. He endures going to the gym and, when he can bear it, watching Birmingham City Football Club maintain his low expectations.