Brig Gen O’Connor enlisted in the Irish Air Corps as an Apprentice in 1982, and was posted to Tech Wing where he completed his four year Apprenticeship in Aug 1986 before being awarded a Cadetship in October 1986.
Brig Gen O’Connor was Commissioned as a 2/Lt in 1988 and received his Military Pilot Wings in 1989.
Having commanded at all levels within the Irish Air Corps, and served in EUFOR Tchad/RCA as Air Intelligence Chief in 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2016.
Brig Gen O’Connor holds a Masters in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies from NUI Maynooth as well as a Masters from the War Studies Dept, Kings’ College London. He is a Qualified Flight Instructor and Examiner and has logged in excess of 5,500hrs, having flown numerous types (including the SIAI Marchetti, Fouga Magister, Cessna FR172, King Air 200, Gulfstream G-IV and Pilatus PC-9M) and has flown all over the world as an operational pilot. He acted as Project Lead for the introduction of the PC-9M aircraft into service with the Irish Air Corps between 2002 and 2005.