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LIEUTENANT COLONEL (U) MOHD HAIRY ERWANDY BIN HAJI RAYA joined the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) in September 1998 and was commissioned as an officer on September 1999 after completing his Initial Officer Training (IOT) No 179 at the Royal Air Force (RAF) College, Cranwell in United Kingdom (UK). Upon his return, he commenced his career as a pilot by firstly completing his basic flying training with the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) No 3 Sqn (now renamed as No 73 Sqn), Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) flying the PC7 MKII.

Soon after, he was posted to an operational (Maritime/ Transport) Sqn; No 5 Sqn (now renamed as No 15 Sqn) to continue his career as a CN235 pilot where he would serve most of his flying career. He completed his Qualified Fixed-Wing Instructor's (QFI) Course with British Aerospace and Engineering (BAe) Systems at Flight Training Tamworth (FTT), Australia in 2009 and returned to instruct on the CN235. He has commanded flying posts which includes; Flight Commander Training (FCT) in 2011; and as Officer Commanding (OC) held in 2013 (whilst still holding the FCT post). As a flying instructor, he has clocked in excess of 1000 instructional flight hours and is also certified by Central Flying School (CFS) RAF UK as a B1 CAT QFI in 2014. He is also certified by Sapura Defence, Malaysia as an Instructor Operating Station (IOS) Level D Full Flight Simulator Training in 2008. Furthermore, he is the first qualified Maintenance Test Pilot (MTP) on type obtained from Flight Test Center Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) in 2016.

To date, he is proud to be the longest serving CN235 pilot (2002-2019: 17 years). With over 3000 flying hours, of which 2842 flying hours are on the CN235 (No 15 Sqn's most flying hours on type to date), his operational experiences include; regional transport missions such as International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao, Philippines; and he was one of the crew for Brunei's first Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operation codenamed, 'Ops Badai Berlalu' during the Boxing day Tsunami in Banda Aceh (2005). His second HADR mission was for the Haiyan Typhoon of 2013 in Tacloban, Philippines where he was appointed as Air Mission Commander (AMC). It was for these efforts that he achieved the Pingat Indah Kerja Baik (P.I.K.B) Medal.

His career appointments, thereafter, included being Commanding Officer (CO) No 7 Wing from 2017 to 2019. He then had a short stint as Staff Officer 1 Staff Duties/ Doctrine in the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) at the end of 2019 through to July 2020. At that same period, he was the first Chief of Staff (COS) for RBAF Task Force Support (TFS) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a rapid succession of a career change, on this same year, he was appointed as Defence Adviser of UK where he spent three (3) years on tour (2020-2023). Upon returning, he assumed the Assistant Chief of Staff A7 (Training) at the RBAirF Headquarters commencing from July 2023. This tour was also short-lived as he was appointed as Commander Operations Group (COG) at the Operations Group Headquarters since 23 January 2024.

His staff training includes; the 8th RBAF Junior Staff Course (JSC) in 2008 and the Defence Academy (DA) RBAF Command and Staff College (CSC) 5th cohort in 2015. It was at this junction that he achieved the RBAF Commendation Award and took the opportunity to complete a Master's Degree in International Security (MIntSy) with Massey University, New Zealand in 2016. In 2019, he completed his Executive Development Programme (EDP) for Senior Government Officials (SGO) organized by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (SHHBIDSS) and delivered by Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) School of Public Policy, National University Singapore (NUS).

He is married to Aliza and they have four (4) wonderful children; Hafiz (2002), Danish (2003), Dania (2005) and Zaara (2020) of which their youngest was born in UK. Note that their first three (3) children's date of birth coincides with 235 (luck) for CN235. Hairy enjoys mountain biking, running and football in his pastime.​