New Cadet Expansion Officer

February 26, 2015

At the end of January, NW RFCA School Cadet Expansion Officer Max Puller handed over the reins to new team member Mark Byrne. Facing the challenge of helping schools establish cadet units under the joint Department for Education/Ministry of Defence Cadet Expansion Programme, Mark is looking forward to establishing himself in his new environment with North West RFCA.

Mark was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in January 1980 as an air traffic controller serving at RAF Brüggen, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Valley and as Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.

In the mid-1990s, Squadron Leader Byrne took a career break from the Royal Air Force in the IT industry as Special Projects Manager and Sales & Marketing Director.

In 1997 he returned to RAF Valley to take up the post of Flight Lieutenant Operations. He also assumed continuing responsibility for communications and managed the media interest in a number of aircraft accidents as well as routine stories.

Mark won the national Award for Communication Excellence in 2004 for his work on the successful 6-part BBC series ‘Combat Pilot’ and the Sir John Barraclough Trophy in 2005 for raising awareness of air power issues through his media work (although he cites the highlight of his media responsibilities as spending 2 weeks on the beach with Demi Moore filming ‘Half Light’ in 2005).

Promoted to squadron leader in 1999, he took command of Operations Squadron at RAF Valley before assuming the position of Chief of Staff Operations Wing in 2006. Upon the lengthy absence of his superior, he was promoted acting wing commander and assumed the role of Director of Operations until a replacement was appointed.

In 2011, Mark called time on his RAF career to settle in the Liverpool area. Before he could leave Wales he was asked to lead a regional regeneration initiative to establish a Town Development Trust to act as a catalyst for future economic regeneration in Holyhead.

Max leaves NW RFCA for a new position at HQ British Forces Post Office at RAF Northolt.