Air Vice Marshal M J Smeath CBE

Director Global Defence Network in the Ministry of Defence Commandant General Royal Air Force Regiment. The Global Defence Network is deployed in over 100 countries with our Defence Attaché element hard at work maintaining relationships with partners & allies, & promoting United Kingdom’s Defence & National objectives.

We work for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom with global reach and influence. We will protect our people, territories, values and interests at home and overseas, through strong armed forces and in partnership with allies, to ensure our security, support our national interests and safeguard our prosperity.


Air Vice-Marshal Mick Smeath joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1987 as an aircraft propulsion engineer prior to being commissioned into the RAF Regiment in 1990. During his early years he served in Germany and Northern Ireland on infantry and air defence squadrons, as well as in Belize, the Falkland Islands and Gulf War 1. He also served with the United Nations in the Balkans, and with NATO in Bosnia as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). He was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contribution to the JTAC community.

His early career was followed by tours in the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre, the Permanent Joint Headquarters (as a J3 Operational Team Leader) and the United States Headquarters European Command (as a J3/5 planner). He commanded a RAF Regiment infantry squadron in Iraq and deployed to Afghanistan prior to the commitment of UK Armed Forces. He subsequently commanded a wing in Helmand Province working as part of a USMC construct. His operational experience also extends to myriad detachments to the Yemen, Pakistan, Nigeria and the Middle East. In the rank of Group Captain, he commanded RAF Honington and the RAF Regiment; his contribution was recognised by promotion within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to Commander.

Air Vice-Marshal Smeath has extensive staff experience in the Ministry of Defence having completed tours in several areas including operations, capability development and people. He also served as the Secretary to the Chiefs of Staff working for the Secretary of State for Defence, the Permanent Secretary and the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Promoted to Air Commodore in August 17, he was appointed the UK Chief of the Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff working with the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. This was followed by two years as the Principal Staff Officer to the UK Chief of the Defence Staff. He was subsequently promoted and appointed as the UK’s Defence Attaché to the US and Head of British Defence Staff (United States) in July 2020. Air Vice-Marshal Smeath was appointed Commandant General of the RAF Regiment in April 2022.

Air Vice-Marshal Smeath is an alumnus of the UK’s Advance Command and Staff Course and the Higher Command and Staff Course. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies having completed the one-year residential Defence and Strategic Studies Course (Royal College of Defence Studies equivalent) where he was awarded a Distinction and the Commandant’s prize. He is an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust, has completed Defence’s Strategic Business Programme, has a Certificate in Company Direction, and has completed the RAF’s Senior Leadership in Development Programme and the United States Pinnacle and Capstone Courses. He has a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honours) in International Studies and Master of the Arts degrees in Strategic Studies and War Studies. His interests include taking part in all sports but especially competing in triathlons/duathlons and road races. He is an avid Manchester United and Washington Nationals fan, frightens himself riding motorbikes fast, and has a fascination with live music of all kinds.

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