Wing Commander Jez
Batt was commissioned into the RAF as a Pilot in July 1992. Faced
with a 2 year hold following Elementary Flying Training he accepted an offer
from the Service to complete an undergraduate degree from the Royal Military
College of Science (Shrivenham) in Information Systems Management. Returning to flying training by way of Oxford
and London UASs, he completed BFJT and elected to re-stream to the Multi-Engine
cadre. Posted onto the Nimrod MR2 in 98,
he served on 206 Sqn from 98-03; supporting numerous UK-based and overseas
Operations, captaining a counter terrorism crew and selected as the first MR2
captain to deploy iso Op TELIC. On leaving
the front line, he was posted to the Officer & Aircrew Cadet Training Unit
as a Flight Commander and was selected to be the XO for IOTC1. Promoted to Sqn Ldr on the graduation night
for IOTC1, he was re-toured at OACTU as Officer Commanding B Sqn, before becoming
Sqn Ldr Cadets and acting Wg Cdr Cadets.
Whilst at OACTU, he gained qualifications in both Neuro Linguistic
Programming and Strength Deployment Inventory.
Returning to the
Nimrod force in May 08 as a Flt Cdr and following the tragic loss of XV230,
brought considerable challenge, but also considerable personal fulfilment as
experience levels had dwindled and competency was being compounded by a paucity
of live flying opportunity. Posted from
the Nimrod immediately preceding the decision to delete the MRA4 Programme, he deployed
to Op HERRICK in support of a discrete UK/Afghan commando force as Air Advisor
and member of their operational planning team.
On return from Op HERRIC, he was posted into the Strategic Plans team
within SPP/FPP at HQ Air. Working within
a team of 4 as the ‘air’ SME, this team was responsible for providing short
notice assessments and recommendations in response to discrete, strategic-level
options being considered by the SLT.
Promotion to Wing Commander followed this tour and he was fortunate to
once again return to the HERRICK theatre, this time embedded within the 82ndAirborne Div and 3rd Infantry Div as the Regional Air Operations
Chief for RC(S). The autonomy and
opportunities presented in this role were truly unique and he was awarded the
US Army Commendation Medal for work to reallocate unused airborne time from key
FJ and ISTAR assets to enhance the security of the Kandahar operating base.
Returning to the
UK in Dec 12, he was then posted into the newly formed Air Cap as SO1 ISTAR
Delivery. What started as a team of 2,
quickly grew and now exceeds 20 personnel.
Whilst having a broader remit to oversee capability delivery activity
across the wider ISTAR portfolio, he had specific responsibility as the platform
desk officer for the Sentry and Sentinel aircraft and 1st RO for all
ISTAR Requirements Managers. He became
SO1 Sentinel and P8 within the ISTAR Force HQ in Jan 16, leaving in Aug to
undertake the E-3D OCU on 54 Sqn, before taking up the appointment as Officer
Commanding 8 Sqn on 7 Oct 16.
Jez is married to Nicola,
who is Manager of the childcare facility (Kidzone) at RAFC Cranwell. Originally brought in to assess a failing
business, she has transformed Kidzone into a thriving facility that has recently
been assessed by OFSTED as ‘Outstanding’.
They have 2 children, Oliver and Cerys, aged 14 and 12 respectively, a
boisterous chocolate lab called Wilbur and their family home is in
Lincolnshire. Whilst free time is
inevitably at a premium, his hobbies include fine wine, road cycling and more
than a passing interest in all things ‘motorsport.’