Air Cdre Andy Martin joined the RAF in September 1984 as a university cadet, gaining a First-Class Honours Degree in Physics from Imperial College, London, in 1987.
On completion of pilot training, Martin was posted to the Tornado F3, completing operational tours on Nos 23 and XI(F) Sqns, including supporting Operation DENY FLIGHT over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. After a brief period as an F3 operational conversion instructor on 56(R) Sqn, Martin completed the Air Defence Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) Course, and remained on 56(R) Sqn as a QWI Course Staff instructor until he was promoted in July 2000.
As a Sqn Ldr, Martin joined the F3 Operational Evaluation Unit as Flight Commander, and at the same time became a member of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, displaying the Hurricane Mk II and Spitfire Mks II, V, IX and XIX in the 2001 and 2002 seasons. After achieving over 2000 hours on the F3, Martin was posted to the J5 Division of the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters where he was responsible for operations and contingency planning for the South Atlantic, Cyprus and other overseas bases.
On promotion to Wg Cdr in July 2005, Martin was posted to HQ Air Command as Wg Cdr Test and Evaluation (T&E), then completed a short French language course in preparation for overseas Advanced Staff Training at the Canadian Forces’ College Toronto where he gained his first Masters’ Degree in Defence Studies with a thesis on terrorist use of the Internet and Network Centric Warfare Techniques. On his return to the UK in 2007, Martin converted to the E-3D Sentry, took command of No 8 Sqn in January 2008, and was appointed Deputy E-3D Component Commander in July the same year.
As OC 8 Sqn, Martin oversaw the consolidation of 8 Sqn, 23 Sqn, and the Sentry Maintenance Sqn into a single operational E-3D Sqn comprising some 300 personnel, and in 2009 received the NATO Meritorious Service Medal for his work as Deputy E-3D Component Commander. In December 2009, he planned and led the deployment of the new Sqn and elements of 34 Expeditionary Air Wing in support of Operation AFGHAN ASSIST, activating and then commanding the Deployed Operating Base in Southern Oman. On completion of his command tour, Martin was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List, spent 6 months as Chief of Combat Operations at the CENTCOM Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid, Qatar, and was then posted to the UK MOD Operations Directorate as the NATO and EU desk officer.
On promotion to Gp Capt in May 2011, Martin returned to HQ Air Command as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for the Direct Process and Disseminate portion of the ISTAR process, then expanded this role to assume responsibility for all ISTAR issues until the formation of the RAF ISTAR Force in January 2012. As the first Deputy ISTAR Force Commander, Martin designed, formed, and then led the new ISTAR Force HQ, responsible for the capability development, staff oversight, and integration of RAF Air ISTAR output, and for Air Safety and Availability management of RAF ISTAR platforms. During his tour, he oversaw the establishment of the first UK-based Reaper Sqn to double UK Reaper output, and supported the successful introduction to service of the UK Rivet Joint Aircraft and supporting systems.
In Jun 2015, Martin was deployed to Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan as Commanding Officer of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing with responsibility for the operational output of the Wing’s core enabling services, and of the Tornado GR4, Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing, and Tactical Air Transport Detachments. Martin also acted as Senior UK Airman and UK Force Protection lead at Kandahar, and was responsible for the redeployment of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing and its Force Elements as UK operations at Kandahar came to a close. On his return to the UK, Martin was posted to HQ Air as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Combat Air Capability Delivery, deputizing for the Assistant Chief of Staff and directly managing the Defence Operational Training Capability (Air) Programme.
In 2016, Martin was selected to attend the US National War College in Washington DC, completing the course in 2017 as a Distinguished Graduate and gaining a Master of Science in National Security Strategy. He was promoted to Air Cdre in July 2017, assuming the post if Deputy Force Commander and Chief of Staff of the NATO AEW & Control Force. Air Cdre Martin is married to Sue and has two adult children. He and his family are keen skiers, and his other interests include rugby, music, good wine, and cooking.