One of the longest serving South African Air Force chiefs has joined Paramount Group, Africa’s largest privately-owned defence and aerospace company, in a move that demonstrates its position as one of the fastest growing defence innovators globally.
Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano was chief of the South African Air Force from 2005 to 2012, and has been appointed group executive and special advisor to the chairman of the group.
Paramount Group experienced extremely strong growth last year and is looking to increase sales across Africa, the Middle East and South America in 2013 – particularly in its aerospace business, which is responsible for creating AHRLAC, Africa’s first domestically built aircraft.
Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, said: “General Gagiano’s decision to join Paramount Group as part of the senior management team complements our growing aviation business and is an important strategic move.
“General Gagiano has had a long and distinguished career in the leadership of the SAAF, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He shares our vision of developing the defence industry as it becomes an increasingly important part of our knowledge economy, contributes to the development of skills and engineering expertise, and helps to grow the industrial base of our country.”
General Gagiano said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to be part of a rapidly expanding industrial group that has become a key player in the South African defence industry.
“There are a number of very exciting projects that are currently under way, and more in the pipeline, and I am very encouraged by the prospects going forward. I look forward to playing a helpful and constructive role in contributing to these developments.”
During his 44-year career, Gagiano has held a number of senior SAAF appointments and served in various operational capacities.
From 2002 to 2005, he served in SAAF headquarters as chief director of Air Policy, where he was responsible for designing policy, implementing strategies and managing resources.
He also served as chief director of Operations Development at the Joint Operations Division from 2000 to 2002, which involved forming general policies, doctrines and procedures in terms of defence capabilities.
Career highlights – Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano
1968 – Joined SAAF
1969 – Received wings
1971 – Completed Mirage conversion course. Transferred to AFB Waterkloof
1989 – Takes over command of 89 Combat Flight School
1991 – Appointed Military Attaché to Israel
1994 – Completed National Defence Force’s Joint Staff Course and made Base Commander of AFB Langebaanweg
1998 – Promoted to brigadier general and posted to AF headquarters
2000 – Promoted to major general sees his appointment as chief director Operations Development at the Joint Operations Division
2003 – Appointed chief director Air Policy at the SAAF
2005 – Appointed chief of the South African Air Force
2011 – Retired from the SAAF