Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper joined the Royal Air Force 1976, and began his operational career flying the Jaguar aircraft with No 41 (Fighter) Squadron in 1979. He went on to fly the CF-18 on exchange with the Canadian Air Force before returning to command No 41 Squadron from 1994 to 1997 and then serving as the Station Commander at RAF Coltishall from 1999 to 2001. Air Marshal Harper was Air Officer Commanding of No 1 Group from 2007 to 2009.
Sir Chris has had a multitude of staff appointments, these have included: working on the Eurofighter-Typhoon project in the UK Ministry of Defence Central Staff; Military Assistant to the Minister of State for the Armed Forces; Command Group Executive Officer at NATO’s Allied Air Forces Central Europe; Air Commodore Typhoon at RAF Strike Command; Director of Joint Commitments in the UK Ministry of Defence, and Chief of Staff (Operations) at Headquarters Air Command.
From 2009 to 2011, Sir Chris was Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command at Brunssum in the Netherlands; the main role of this headquarters is the out-of-area facilitation for NATO’s ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
Sir Chris took over as the United Kingdom’s Military Representative to NATO and the European Union on 10 March 2011.