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12 - 15 September 2023

Excel - London

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DSEI ZONES & HUBS
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Jez Holmes OBE

Air Commodore Jez Holmes OBE

Head of RAF Rapid Capabilities Office, Royal Air Force

Air Commodore Jez Holmes joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot in 1994.  On completion of fast jet training he was posted to the Tri-nation Tornado Training Establishment at Cottesmore to begin conversion to the Tornado GR1which he finished with XV(R) Squadron at Lossiemouth in 1999. 

He completed his first tour with 617 Squadron before being posted back to XV(R) Squadron as an instructor where he completed the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course.  In 2003 he was posted to IX(B) Squadron at Marham and the Qualified Weapon Instructor pilot, and on promotion in 2006, he was posted to II (AC) Squadron at Marham to complete a Flight Commander tour. During this time he completed 5 operational tours over Iraq.

In 2008 he was posted to Air Command as Personal Staff Officer to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief Operations before promoting to Wing Commander in 2010.  Subsequently he successfully completed Advanced Command and Staff College at the United Kingdom Defence Academy where he gained an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London.  A posting to Capability Deep Target Attack in the Ministry of Defence, where he held the role of Assistant Head of Weapons, responsible for the Complex Weapons Portfolio.  He took Command of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron in January 2013 as the last commander of the Squadron’s Tornado era.  During his tour II(AC) Squadron deployed to the UAE for Ex ATLC before taking part in Ops SPINNEY, HERRICK, SHADER and TURUS, the last three of which saw the Squadron deploy to Afghanistan, Cyprus (for operations over Iraq) and Africa in a busy final year. Following command, he held the role of SO1 Future Combat Air System(FCAS) at Air Command, delivering the FCAS programme and contributing to the FCAS and Combat Air SDSR2015 strategy and inputs.  

Promoted in Oct 2015, he briefly held the role of Gp Capt Ops and Trg Div at the AWC before being asked to return and establish the new DACOS FCAS role and the Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) as Deputy Head Ops.  As DACOS FCAS he was the architect of the FCAS TI Programme, Team Tempest, and responsible for the work that lead to the Combat Air Strategy and the initiation of the Combat Air Acquisition Programme. Promoted in Mar 2020, he is now the Head of the RAF’s RCO, responsible for the delivery of the FCAS TI, the RAF’s Air Information Experimentation Lab, and the RCO Projects team (including capabilities such as swarming drones).


Air Commodore Holmes has completed an MA, an MBA and is a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange.

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