AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR RICHARD JOHNS GCB KCVO CBE FRAES IN CONVERSATION WITH SAVILIAN DAVID OLDROYD-BOLT: BOLTS FROM THE BLUE: FROM COLD WAR WARRIOR TO CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns’s illustrious career gave him the privilege of a rare, if not singular, perspective of the RAF, its sister services and national defence matters, witnessing a steady decline in the combat power of the UK’s armed forces as financial management took precedence over identifying strategic priorities and maintaining the vital skill-set of service personnel. His views are forensic and forthright, balanced and thought-provoking and will be both edifying and entertaining to anyone interested in British military power over the past half century. 

Sir Richard was commissioned at the RAF College Cranwell in 1959 after completing flying training on Piston Provost and Meteor aircraft. Following nine years service as an operational fast-jet pilot, primarily on the Harrier, he commanded both a Harrier squadron and the Harrier Force in Germany, then became a qualified flying instructor during which time he taught The Prince of Wales to wings standard. A succession of national and NATO senior appointments followed, culminating in his promotion to Chief of the Air Staff and Air ADC to the Queen. On retirement in April 2000, he became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle. A past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RAF Museum, he is now president of the RAF Historical Society.