From September, DE&S will welcome a new Director General Air, Vice Admiral Rick Thompson, who joins from Sealand Support Services.
Rick will lead the Air Domain, which comprises more than 2,200 staff operating across two operating centres and will be responsible for delivering the Air portfolio of equipment acquisition, support and services for Front-Line Command customers.
On the appointment, Sir Simon Bollom, DE&S CEO, said:
Rear Admiral Richard (Rick) Thompson is an Aeronautical Engineer Officer who joined the Royal Navy in 1985 and graduated from the Royal Naval Engineering College in 1989. His last appointment at sea was as the Senior Air Engineer of HMS Ark Royal, responsible for the airworthiness and maintenance of all embarked squadrons, air launched weapons and workshop support.
In-between operational appointments, Rick spent two decades managing major international programmes in equipment acquisition, capability delivery and change management. These included business transformation with Joint Helicopter Command, strategic personnel change with the Naval Head Quarters and the design of the Merlin helicopter with a secondment to industry.
His most recent Programme Management role was with DE&S, as the Team Leader responsible for the procurement and integration of the Lightning II aircraft (F-35B) into the UK. Over an eight-year period he procured the UK’s first 18 aircraft, delivering six, and certifying the design.
He also procured the support infrastructure and contracted logistics for RAF Marham, the UK’s Main Operating Base for the aircraft. His design work included integrating the aircraft with the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier for the short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL) and carrier variants of the F-35.