Wg. Cdr. (ret.) Geoff Yapp

Instructor, NATO Joint Operations (Air)


After 34 years’ service with the British Royal Air Force Wg Cdr (Ret) Geoff Yapp is now the Senior Air instructor at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia.

His operational career included 12 years on air defence fighter sqns where he accumulated 2,500 hours in the rear seat of F-4 Phantom interceptors. He served several tours as an instructor and front line navigator including a tour as the flight commander responsible for training and war plans at the RAF’s Cold War fighter base in Germany. During this time he was also an air defence team chief with the NATO TACEVAL programme and evaluated most of the major Allied air bases in Northern Europe.

After 6 years in the British Ministry of Defence with responsibilities for research programmes looking at future fighter aircraft and weapons he moved from 1998 - 2003 to the NATO Headquarters in Norway where he led the training and exercise programme for the accession to NATO of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. From Norway Geoff deployed several times to the Balkans as the NATO liaison officer inside Serbia during the Presevo Valley operational transfer, leading the team that established a Kosovo wide task force to counter arms smuggling and as an LNO to Romania during the NATO air strikes against Serbia in 1999.

From 2003 to 2006 Wg Cdr Yapp was Chief of Air Plans at Ramstein where he led the Air Planning teams that produced the first NATO air plan for Afghanistan. In between operational deployments to Kabul and Kandahar Geoff also taught operational planning at the NATO school in Oberammergau.
As part of the world wide exchange of RAF personnel with other air forces, Wg Cdr Yapp was then posted to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska as the Chief of Combat Operations in the Alaska NORAD Region, and was the air expert in US cross governmental Arctic planning teams .

His final tour was as the British Naval and Air Attaché in Canada with special responsibilities for coordinating climate security and Arctic policies. During this time he completed an MSc in Climate Science.

On retirement in 2012 Geoff started a new career with the Baltic Defence College teaching a wide range of topics including the theory and application of air power, operational planning and wider security studies. He is conducting doctoral studies with the Finnish National Defence University.
National Defence University of Finland.

Areas of Expertise

  • Air Operations, theory, practice and application to Joint Operations
  • Operational planning
  • Military history
  • Exercise planning and execution
  • Political and military strategies of the Arctic nations in response to a changing climate




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