TRIBUTES are being left for Group Captain Tom Barrett, OBE ADC MA RAF, who died on Thursday evening.

Captain Tomas (Tom) Arne Barrett was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1966.

After schooling in Sweden and Warwickshire, he attended Bristol University focussing on the University Air Squadron thereby enabling an early start at the RAF College Cranwell.

After fast-jet flying training he began his operational career on the Jaguar at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk, as an attack/reconnaissance pilot on 41(F) Sqn.

This entailed serving as the Electronic Warfare Instructor, including operational detachments to patrol the Northern Iraqi no-fly zone.

Thereafter he joined the sister squadron, 54(F), where he served as the Qualified Weapons Instructor, completing many operational tours in the Balkans region.

Subsequently he became the first Jaguar pilot on the Air Warfare Centre’s Strike Attack Operational Evaluation Unit at Boscombe Down after which he completed a staff tour in the Directorate of Air Operations as Jaguar/Harrier desk officer in MOD.

He returned to RAF Coltishall as flight commander in 2000 entailing returns to the Iraqi no-fly zones concluding with preparations for Op TELIC, where he designed the UK element of a revised US Combined Air Operations Centre.

Promoted wing commander in 2003 he was posted to HQ 1 Gp before departing for America to attend the USAF Staff College in Alabama.

On return to the UK he took command of 32(The Royal) Squadron, which required many deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

For his work in focussing the operational role of the Command Support Air Transport Fleet, he was awarded an OBE.

A staff tour with a broad portfolio as Group Captain Air Staff for Ops Policy followed where his interest in Renewable Energy was sparked as a result of extensive work on windfarms. He was posted to RAF Northolt as Station Commander in September 2009, a role for which he also served as ADC to HM The Queen.

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