News Section

Honour for Retired Wing Commander

Article posted: Mar 19, 2013 by Wing Media & Comm Officer

Retired VR(T) Officer becomes a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire

Retired Wing Commander, Phil Giles, has been made a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire in recognition of his current and passed service to the Community.

The Wing Commander started a long career in the Air Cadet Organisation as a cadet at 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron in the late 1950’s. Entering adult service, Wing Commander Giles was commissioned in 1966 and went on to Command “1360” from 1976.

In August 1983 he was transferred to a Wing Staff Officer post within the old East Midlands Wing (now part of South & East Midlands and Trent Wings) based at RAF Newton, Nottinghamshire and promoted to Squadron Leader in May the following year. In June 1989 he was promoted to Wing Commander upon taking Command of East Midlands Wing a post he occupied until the closure of the Wing in 1999. His final year of uniformed service was as one of the HQ Air Cadets project officers for Cadet 2000, the Corps National Millennium Celebrations. Phil finally retired from uniformed service in September 2000 Some the highlights of Phil’s illustrious career: In October 1984 he was tasked by Group Captain Hives, SASO, HQ Air Cadets, to be their Liaison Officer, for the formation of No 2 (Overseas) Gibraltar Squadron. After many months of work liaising with Air Commodore John Pack, Air Commander Gibraltar and Joseph Canapa, Deputy Commissioner of Police Gibraltar, (including several visits to Gibraltar) the Squadron officially formed in March 1985, meeting in what was the station’s old telephone exchange.. 1988 saw Phil leading the UK’s first International Air Cadet Exchange with Australia when he escorted a small party of cadets to Queensland to attend Australia’s Bi-Centennial celebrations. The time in Brisbane coincided with Expo 88.

Awards during service with the Air Cadet Organisation For his services to the Air Training Corps Phil was presented with the Cadet Forces Medal in 1978, a clasp to the medal was awarded in 1986, a second clasp in 1994 and a third in 2000. He received a Commandants Certificate of Good service in 1983 and a Defence Council Letter of Appreciation in 1988. He was appointed as an Officer in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Years Honours List 1998.

He joined the Derbyshire County Committee of what is now the Reserve Forces and Cadets association (RFCA) as a member in 1989 when taking command of East Midlands Wing of the Air Training Corps, taking on the role of Vice-Chairman in 1999 upon retirement from uniformed service with the ATC. He was elected as the Derbyshire Chairman at the Annual General meeting in 2004 and currently remains in that post.

Still a great supporter of the Air Cadets, Phil attends many squadron functions and is the President of 126 (City of Derby) Squadron. He is also a very active member of the Erewash Branch of the Royal Air Force Association.

“I have known the Wing Commander since we were cadets together at 1360 and it was Phil who welcomed me back to the Corps when I retired from The RAF. He still takes a keen interest in the cadets and supports the Organisation within Derbyshire. I congratulate him on his well deserved appointment and am sure he will discharge his duties with his usual enthusiasm and drive” said Flight Lieutenant Allan Munns also a one time cadet and Officer Commanding 1360.

Phil was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Derbyshire 11 March 2013

Living in Castle Donington with his wife Jo, Phil is currently retired from full time employment and occupies his time involved in voluntary activities for several organisations. He has two children and four grandchildren.