She has been promoted to the 2-star officer rank and appointed Director of Combat Air at Defence Equipment and Support. Having twice served her country on the front line she will now be responsible for the procurement and maintenance of all combat aircraft, training aircraft and remotely-piloted air systems for the armed forces.
Air Vice-Marshal Gray joined the RAF in 1985 and was commissioned into the engineer branch. During her career she has deployed to Iraq twice, during the First Gulf War in 1991, and again on Operation Telic in 2003 when she was Chief Engineer for the Joint Helicopter Force.
She is the second woman in the RAF to be promoted to Air Vice-Marshal after Elaine West was appointed Director of Projects and Programme Delivery at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in August.
Air Vice-Marshal Gray said:
It is an immense privilege to have served my country for the last 28 years in the RAF and I am delighted to continue to do this in my new role as Director of Combat Air.
I look forward to the challenges of ensuring the UK stays at the cutting-edge of combat air power, delivering world class fast jet, training aircraft and remotely-piloted air systems to our armed forces.
Defence Minister Anna Soubry said:
I am delighted that the armed forces continue to demonstrate there are no glass ceilings for female personnel and that they recognise and promote the best people, irrespective of gender.
The vast majority of roles in the armed forces are open to women and I hope they draw strength from these appointments and take full advantage of the opportunities available to them.
Head of RAF Personnel, Air Marshal Baz North, said:
Sue Gray’s promotion to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal is thoroughly well-deserved; I wish her every success in her challenging role within Defence Equipment and Support.
Her promotion, along with that of her colleague, Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West, announced earlier this year, is a tangible demonstration that the RAF provides rewarding careers for our diverse population of professional military personnel and that we realise the potential in our best and brightest people.