Ricardo “Koala” Klima was born in Santiago, Chile on May 8, 1952. He joined the Chilean Air Force Academy in 1969, graduating as Second Lieutenant, Pilot, on January 2, 1973. He is a Military Professor for Personnel, Staff and Strategy, holds a Technical Engineering degree in Aeronautical Systems, a Master of Science in Military Administration, a Masters in Human Resources Management and in Political Philosophy.
Koala is a helicopter and transport pilot with more than 4000 flight hours, having flown the UH-1H, BK-117, Black Hawk, DHC-6, and BA 99A Cessna Citation CJ1, among others. He has participated in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in Israel (UNTSO), Syria (UNDOF), Lebanon (OGL), Kuwait (UNIKOM) and Iraq (UNSCOM). During his tour at HQ UNDOF, he was assigned as the UN Chief Operations Officer in 1984; and, during his tour at HQ UNIKOM, he was assigned as Air Operation Chief from 1990-1991.
Koala has assumed multiple command positions, to include two operational squadrons, CEO of the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE) in 1998, and Commander-in-Chief of Third Air Brigade in the south of Chile. In addition to his command tours, Koala has attended UPT at Webb AFB in the USA from 1974-75, worked as the Staff Officer at the Chilean Air War Academy in 1990.
In December 2004, he retired from the Chilean Air Force as a Lieutenant General. Koala currently works as a member of the special committee for strategic studies in the Chilean Air Force. Koala joined Check-6 in November 2013 as a performance excellence and leadership development coach.