Group Captain Karen Moran MA RAF

Deputy Head Plans for UK Space Command


Group Captain Moran joined the RAF as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller in 1989. Following tours at: RAF Valley; MPA Falklands; Support Helicopter Flight Northern Ireland at Aldergrove; Aviano and RAF Northolt she commissioned into the Operations Support (Flight Operations) Branch.

Posted to the Tornado F3 force at RAF Leeming during which was detached to RAF Coningsby in support of QRA. A move in 2003 to the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance fleet saw her employed as a Nimrod Mission Briefing Officer at RAF Kinloss. She deployed numerous times on Operations, (to Al Udeid, Seeb and Basra and Curacao). In 2005 she was posted as an instructor at the Officer and Airmen Cadet Training Unit at RAF College Cranwell. She returned to the ISTAR fleet in 2007, as the Air and Ground Operations Officer for 5(AC) Sqn on the Airborne Standoff Radar System at RAF Waddington. Her duties included coordination of the new equipment capability assurance missions and the planning of the Sqns inaugural detachment to Op HERRICK. 
In 2009, on promotion to Squadron Leader, she was posted to Air Command A6 developing the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) Battlespace. In 2010, she assumed command of Operations Squadron at RAF College Cranwell. During this tour she deployed to Op ELLAMY in the Executive Officer role for 906 Expeditionary Air Wing. This deployment was quickly followed by a 6-month Op HERRICK tour as Officer Commanding Operations Squadron at Camp Bastion. On return to the UK, she assumed duties as the Personal Staff Officer to the Commandant RAF College Cranwell and Director of Recruiting and Training. In 2013, on promotion to Wing Commander, she moved to the UK Defence Academy at Shrivenham, Joint Services Command and Staff College. Where she held responsibility for the development, generation, and delivery of joint warfare exercises for the College's Command and Staff Courses. 

In 2016, on completion of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, she took post as Officer Commanding Operations and Plans Wing at RAF Halton. During this tour she was responsible for delivering the mounting base and real-life support for all the RAF 100 parade personnel. In 2018 she joined the 11 Group Air Battle Staff to lead the RAF wide Command & Control transformation programme. As the Air Ops Branch & Trade Advisor in 2020, she was responsible for strategic workforce planning to train, develop, and empower all Air Ops Personnel. During this tour she was detached, for 6 months on Op RESCRIPT to NHS England Headquarters, as the Strategic Liaison Officer providing the conduit for all Military Support to the NHS during the COVID pandemic.

Promoted to Group Captain in 2022, she took post as Deputy Head Plans for UK Space Command where she is responsible for integrating Space capabilities into Defence Activities whilst delivering an Exercise and Training Programme to develop the future force. 

RUSI Space Power Conference 2023