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Running the Defence estate: Colin Wood

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Strategic Business Partner

Hello, I’m Colin Wood, DIO’s Chief Operating Officer - newly arrived as part of the organisation’s Strategic Business Partner integration. I’m really excited and proud to be a part of DIO going forward.

Colin Wood, DIO's Chief Operating Officer.
Colin Wood, DIO's Chief Operating Officer.

Some of this is not new to me – I served in the Royal Air Force for 20 years from the age of 18 – so I do have a fair amount of experience of living, training and working on the military estate both in the UK and overseas. I’ve lived in Single Living Accommodation and Service Family Accommodation and my two children were brought up ‘inside the wire’.

Keep on Running

I also bring commercial and private sector experience including working for airport operator BAA and at Transport for London, leading the team which ensured that public transport was ready for and kept running during London 2012.

Being able to use both my military and private sector experience in one role is what makes this job so exciting for me. That said, I know nothing stands still and the world will have moved on, so I will need the help and support of colleagues across DIO and beyond to ensure I’m able to contribute effectively as we go forward.

Fighter jet at an RAF base
Colin served for 20 years with the RAF. [Crown Copyright]
Since the award of the contract was announced back in June, my colleagues and I have been working hard and travelling the country getting up to speed with the complexity of DIO delivery. This has involved meeting with staff and other stakeholders, such as senior military officers, government ministers and civil servants. Because of the large number of DIO sites, we weren’t able to get everywhere but we did meet plenty of people at the main DIO hubs; we now aim to get to the other sites as soon as possible.

Top Priorities

As Chief Operating Officer, I’ll be responsible for day-to-day business and report to our Chief Executive Richard McCarthy, as well as working closely with the rest of the senior management team.

My priorities for the next year are to deliver business as usual and ensure DIO delivers on its promises, whilst enjoying what we do.

My own time in the Armed Forces has shown me how important DIO is to the military functioning effectively, and I know we’re all dedicated to doing the best we can for service personnel. Having been in post officially for only a couple of weeks, the three months of mobilisation activities seem to have flown by.

So what have I learnt so far? DIO operates in a complex and demanding environment. As a large organisation with very varied – and very interesting – responsibilities, it’s frankly impossible to learn everything in three months.

My time in the military may have given me a bit of an advantage with this, but there’s still been a lot to learn and plenty still to go. However, I’m looking forward to getting ‘stuck in’ to the various challenges we currently face.

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