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James Simmonds

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Wing Commander James Simmonds joined the Royal Air Force in 1990 as Physical Education Officer after completing a BA(Ed) in Physical Education at Exeter University. He served in this capacity at RAF Waddington, RAF Valley, RAF Marham, Mount Pleasant Airfield and RAF Uxbridge. In December 1997 he qualified as a Parachute Jumping Instructor. Following a year on ‘the floor’ within Military Training Flight at No 1 Parachute Training School he was posted to Aldershot Garrison as a Training Officer at the RAF Detachment to Airborne Forces supporting 5th Airborne Brigade. In Dec 1999 he moved to HQ 3 Commando Brigade to act as the RAFLO for parachute training and policy. Following this tour he spent a brief period at 4th Parachute Regiment (Volunteer), Thornbury Barracks prior to a posting as Second In Command RAF Detachment to Airborne Forces at Wattisham Airfield. During this tour he deployed to Kuwait with 16 Air assault Brigade on Operation TELIC. In 2004 he was posted back to the Parachute Training School, initially as OC Specialist Training Flight and then Second In Command Parachute Training School. On promotion to Squadron Leader in Jul 2006 he was posted to RAF Innsworth, moving to HQ 22 Trg Gp in November 2007. He completed a mid-tour NATO tour in Afghanistan employed at as the Executive Officer to Deputy Commander Operations within the NATO Headquarters at Kandahar. He was then posted to the RAF School of Physical Training as Officer Commanding. He then returned to Parachute Jumping Instructor duties as Officer Commanding Parachute Support Squadron in August 2010. On promotion to Wing Commander in Nov 2013 and an initial stint as Media Adviser to Deputy Commander International Security Assitance Force at the NATO Headquarters in Kabul he returned to headquarters 22 Training Group to fill the role of Staff Officer for Human Performance. In July 2015 he was posted to RAF Brize Norton as OC Airborne Delivery Wing. Recently he has presented on safety and leadership matters to Military and civilian international audiances. He has completed a Masters in Business Administration with the Open University. He lives with his partner Beverley, they have 4 children and besides entertaining them his interests are in safety, conservation, running, watching rugby (playing days are sadly over) and snowboarding. He also is a voluntary assistant with the Cheltenham Trust.

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