Officer Commanding - WGCDR(AAFC) Paul Hughes JP FIML MAICD
Wing Commander Paul Hughes JP was born in the UK and grew up in Old Trafford, next door to the Manchester United Football Club! A former air cadet from the age of 15, he joined the RAF in 1984 training as a fireman. However, a few years later he was lucky enough to be awarded a flying scholarship which subsequently led to him being offered the opportunity to complete flying training.
Wing Commander Hughes completed a number of flying Instructor and staff tours of duty and deployments in the UK and overseas before retiring as a senior officer. During his military career WGCDR Hughes completed the British Military Parachute Course earning his Parachute wings and received 3 separate commendations.
Emigrating to Australia in 2008 with his Wife Anne and Son Rhys, Paul initially became involved with the AAFC as both a Flying Instructor with what is now 903 Aviation Training Squadron. In 2012, WGCDR Hughes was appointed as the Commanding Officer of 307 (City of Bankstown) Squadron followed by his appointment as the Officer Commanding 3 Wing, on 1 Jan 2015. His command responsibilities include for 40 Squadrons and 6 Flights with over 2600 cadets and staff spread across NSW and the ACT.
Paul also has a day job in the employee assistance program and mental health field providing short term solutions focused employee psychological counselling support and wellbeing services that addresses the challenges people face in their work and life journey. Paul spends a lot of time presenting on these issues increasing people’s awareness of stress anxiety and depression and removing the stigma people attach to mental illness.
WGCDR Hughes is married to Anne and together focus their time on son Rhys who is is about to embark on his path of joining the RAAF.
In his spare time, Paul is a senior soccer referee and Honorary Secretary of Cumberland RSL Sub-Branch. Additionally, he enjoys reading the occasional autobiography and has been described by his military and RSL colleagues as the ‘ideas man’!
Paul was recently awarded the inaugural Sir John Storey Intentional Leadership Award by the Institute of Managers and Leaders for his inspirational leadership in transforming 3 Wing and inspiring people by the motto developed by his team under his leadership: “setting the standard, leading the way”.
Executive Officer (Metro) - WGCDR(AAFC) Frank Galea
Executive Officer (North) - FLTLT(AAFC) Paul Moro
Executive Officer (South) - SQNLDR(AAFC) Dennis Green
Executive Officer (West) - SQNLDR(AAFC) Billy Gleeson-Barker
Staff Officer Management Services - SQNLDR(AAFC) Yan De Horta
Staff Officer Training - SQNLDR(AAFC) Merridy Thompson
Staff Officer Operations - SQNLDR(AAFC) Rod Hobson
Staff Officer Development and Community Engagement -
Staff Officer Wing Safety - SQNLDR(AAFC) Dean Hawthorn
Commanding Officer (Aviation Squadron) -
Wing Logistics Officer - WOFF(AAFC) Mark Garner
Wing Warrant Officer - WOFF(AAFC) Christopher Gibson
Born and Educated in Tamworth NSW Chris enrolled in the AIRTC as a Cadet in 1999 in 10FLT. In his time with 10FLT and 310SQN Chris achieved the rank of CUO and also was the state champion shooter and represented 3 Wing AAFC at the National Rifle Competition in Victoria. At the end of Chris’s cadet career in 2004, Chris then went on to appointed as an LAC(AAFC) with 337SQN Armidale and secondary posted to 310SQN Tamworth. During this time Chris held various roles across both units but was primarily SQNXI at both Squadrons. Chris was heavily involved with 327FLT Gliding attending several camps and is also a solo Glider Pilot.In May 2009 Chris was appointed to the position of Regional Executive Instructor West and promoted to SGT(AAFC) where he looked after the Warrant Officer type role for the 7 western region squadrons and assisted XO(W) with the running of the region.Due to a change in civilian career Chris left the role after 3 years and took up the role of the SQNXI for 335SQN Williamtown where he is currently still secondary posted too. On the 1st of December 2015 Chris was appointed to the position of Wing Warrant Officer 3 Wing and promoted to the rank of WOFF(AAFC).Outside of the AAFC Chris is a National Account Director for a business to business supplier. He enjoys watching and playing sport with Cricket being a big passion of his.