Air Commodore Terry van Haren (TVH) is the Commander of the Australian Air Task Group conducting combat operations over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation OKRA. The Air Task Group comprises 241 personnel in three operating locations providing strike, air to air refuelling, airborne and ground based command and control, intelligence and targeting capabilities to the US led coalition under Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
Air Commodore van Haren joined the RAAF in 1986 as a direct entry pilot. He graduated and initially flew Caribou aircraft. He re-rolled to fast jets in 1991 and completed Australian Hornet operational conversion in 1993. He has subsequently served with all Classic Hornet Squadrons. In 1997 he completed Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) course, instructed at 2OCU and was subsequently appointed FCI 77SQN. In 2003, as Executive Officer 75SQN, he lead 75SQN Operations during Operation Falconer/ Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his ‘outstanding leadership in operations’. As a Wing Commander, he was Deputy Director Operations for live virtual constructive training, during its introduction to service and was awarded a Chief of Defence Force commendation. He was appointed Commanding Officer 3SQN (FA-18A) at RAAF Williamtown between 2009-2011. As a Group Captain he served as Director of the Air and Space Operations Centre (AOC) at HQJOC; and he did an operational tour as a Battle Director at the USCENTAF 609th CAOC. He then served as Officer Commanding 78WG/ Director Air Combat Training from Jan 2015 – May 2017.
Air Commodore van Haren has accumulated nearly 6000 hours, with over 4000 hours fast jet and over 3000 hours on FA18. He completed Australian Command and Staff College in 2005, and holds a Bachelor of Aviation and Masters of Management in Defence Studies and a Masters of Aviation Management.
Air Commodore van Haren is married and has three teenage sons. He enjoys swimming, surfing, surf life saving and is a keen Elvis fan.