John Ponsonby (RAF officer)

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John Ponsonby
Born (1955-08-08) 8 August 1955 (age 64)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army (1975–83)
Royal Air Force (1983–2007)
Years of service1975–2007
RankAir Vice Marshal
Service number498938 (Army)
5205086M (RAF)
Commands heldNo. 22 (Training) Group
Training Group
Air Cadets
RAF Aldergrove
Support Helicopter Force
No. 27 Squadron
No. 78 Squadron
Battles/warsOperation Banner
AwardsOfficer of the Order of the British Empire
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Other workSenior Vice President Training, AgustaWestland

Air Vice Marshal John Maurice Maynard Ponsonby, OBE (born 8 August 1955), is a British businessman and a retired senior officer of the Royal Air Force.

Background[edit]

Ponsonby was born on 8 August 1955 to Myles Ponsonby (1924–1999) and Ann Maynard. Charles Ponsonby, 2nd Baron de Mauley, was his great-great-grandfather. He has two sisters.

Military career[edit]

British Army[edit]

After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets as a second lieutenant on 8 March 1975.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant on 8 March 1977,[2] and to captain on 8 September 1981.[3] He relinquished his commission on 7 March 1983, therefore retiring from the British Army.[4]

Royal Air Force[edit]

Ponsonby was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in April 1983 as a pilot, after nine years service as an infantry in the British Army. On 10 April 1983, he was appointed to a permanent commission and promoted to flight lieutenant[5] with seniority from 10 March 1980.[6] On 1 July 1988, he was promoted to squadron leader,[7] and then to wing commander on 1 January 1994.[8] As a group captain, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1999 New Year Honours,[9] and was made an Aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II on 1 August 2001.[10] He relinquished this appointment on 3 May 2002,[11] being promoted to air commodore on 1 July that year.[12] Ponsonby was also awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the 2002 Operational Honours List "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Northern Ireland during the period 1 October 2001 to 31 March 2002".[13] He was promoted to his final rank of air vice marshal on 4 January 2005.[14]

He has served as a support helicopter pilot throughout his career, and as a helicopter and tactics instructor. He commanded No. 78 Squadron in the Falkland Islands, No. 27 Squadron in the UK, the Support Helicopter Force in Bosnia and RAF Aldergrove/Joint Helicopter Force in Northern Ireland.

He has held staff appointments at Group, Command and Ministry level, including as Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Defence Staff (General Sir Charles Guthrie), and most recently as Air Officer Plans at Headquarters Strike Command.

He is a graduate of the RAF Staff College and the Joint Service Command and Staff College.

He was appointed Air Officer Commanding Training Group on 4 January 2005 and became Air Officer Commanding No. 22 (Training) Group on 30 October 2006.

Later career[edit]

It was announced on 16 January 2007 that Ponsonby was to be Chief of Staff Operations, Headquarters Air Command, from July 2007. He chose instead to leave military service to take a commercial role as Senior Vice President Training, AgustaWestland.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Ponsonby is married to Marie Jose Antoinette Van Huizen-Husselson since 1980. They have three children, Charlotte Emma (born 1982), Luke Myles William (born 1986) and Francesca Sarah (born 1986).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 46551". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 April 1975. pp. 5159–5161.
  2. ^ "No. 47178". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 March 1977. p. 3935.
  3. ^ "No. 48734". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 September 1981. p. 11685.
  4. ^ "No. 49288". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 March 1983. p. 3631.
  5. ^ "No. 49352". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 May 1983. p. 6653.
  6. ^ "No. 49440". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 August 1983. p. 10539.
  7. ^ "No. 51399". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1988. pp. 7708–7709.
  8. ^ "No. 53537". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1993. p. 20689.
  9. ^ "No. 55354". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1998. p. 6.
  10. ^ "No. 56314". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 August 2001. p. 10116.
  11. ^ "No. 56572". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 May 2002. p. 6156.
  12. ^ "No. 56620". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 July 2002. p. 7894.
  13. ^ "No. 56734". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 October 2002. pp. 1–2.
  14. ^ "No. 57521". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 2005. p. 16362.
  15. ^ Agustawestland Archived 12 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
David Walker
Air Officer Commanding Air Cadets
2005–2006
Role disbanded
Air Officer Commanding Training Group
2005–2006
New title
Group reestablished
Air Officer Commanding No. 22 (Training) Group
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Richard Garwood