After completing Initial Officer Training with the Royal Air Force Gavin commenced flying training as a Weapons Systems Officer. Upon completion, he was posted to the Tornado GR1 with No. 31 Squadron at RAF Bruggen in the air to ground role. After 3 years in Germany, a tour at the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit (No. 45 (R) Squadron) as an instructor of ab-inito and refresher aircrew followed. Early in this tour, Gavin graduated from the NATO Tactical Leadership Programme, designed to develop leadership skills pertinent to large, multi-national, multi aircraft packages and, soon afterwards, was selected for the Qualified Weapons Instructors (Top Gun) course. After successful completion of the QWI course he joined the Tornado Standardisation Unit with responsibility for promulgation of best practise and maintenance of standards across the fleet. Gavin was next posted as an exchange officer to the United States Marine Corp serving with VMFA (AW) – 121 and VMFA (AW) – 242, equipped with the F/A-18D, at MCAS Miramar. The F/A-18D is utilised in the night attack/CAS/air to air/reconnaissance roles and the tour afforded ample opportunity to learn new skills, tactics and procedures and to ensure adoption of best practise from a USMC/RAF perspective. Return to the UK saw a posting as a flight commander to No. 2 (AC) Squadron at RAF Marham equipped with the reconnaissance variant of the Tornado, the GR4A.
During his time on the front-line, Gavin completed numerous operational detachments and international exercises, qualifying as a 4-ship leader and as a flying authoriser and supervisor. Ground tours included a posting to the Air Warfare Centre as a subject matter expert where departmental duties included planning, supervision and oversight of the RAF’s bi-annual Tactical Leadership Training exercise involving up to 50 RAF aircraft and 300 personnel. He also served as a staff officer at MoD in the procurement division with oversight of 3 major equipment and 5 Urgent Operational Requirement procurement programmes. During twenty years of service, Gavin gained experience of leadership, mentoring, effective communication and process improvement across all levels of the military and the civil service.
After leaving the RAF, Gavin took up a position as an Account Manager with Hewlett Packard heading a team of 250 software developers and engineers in the production of bespoke computer software. Here he was accountable for all aspects of performance, strategy development, customer relations and staff management and development.
Gavin has a Master’s In Business Administration (MBA) from the Open University and an MA in Defence Studies from Kings College, London.