Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano was appointed as Chief of the Air Force on 1 March 2005.
Gagiano was born on March 26, 1951 and joined the South African Air Force in 1968 and qualified as a pilot on the Aermacchi Impala in December 1969. During his career he flew the North American Harvard, Pilatus PC 7, De Havilland Vampire, Canadair Sabre, Dassault Mirage III, Dassault Mirage F1CZ, as well as the Denel Cheetah D and E aircraft.
In 1985 he completed the South African Air Force’s Senior Command and Staff Course and was subsequently appointed as the Officer Commanding 3 Squadron, operating the F1CZ. In 1989 he was appointed as the Officer Commanding 89 Combat Flying School with Cheetah D aircraft.
Gagiano was military attaché to Israel from 1991 to January 1994. He completed the Joint Staff Course in November 1994 and was then transferred to Central Flying School Langebaanweg as the Officer Commanding.
After a four-year tour at Langebaanweg, he was transferred to the Air Force Office in December 1998, promoted to Brigadier General and appointed as Inspector General of the Air Force on 1 April 1999.
On 1 November 2000 he was promoted to Major General and appointed as Chief Director Operations Development at the Joint Operations Division, responsible for defence capabilities, joint force employment strategy, joint command and control and joint doctrine.
After a three-year tour at the Joint Operations Division he was transferred back to the South African Air Force as Chief Director Air Policy and Plans, responsible for Air Force policy, capabilities, strategy and resource allocation.