JEDDAH: Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayash has been Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister for defense since his appointment in May 2014.
Previously, a royal decree was issued in 2010 appointing him commander-in-chief of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) until he retired in 2013.
Al-Ayash, from Dumat Al-Jandal in Al-Jouf region, was born in 1952. He joined the RSAF in 1970 and graduated from King Faisal Air Force as a pilot in 1972. He was appointed as a pilot officer on F15 fighter aircraft in the same year.
In 1974, he was appointed pilot officer in the 13th Squadron on Lightning Interceptor aircraft. In 1982, he became a pilot officer in the 13th Squadron flying F15s. Al-Ayash attended an instructor pilot and weapons instructor course on Lightning aircraft in the UK in 1978.
In addition, he attended an initial qualification and instructor pilot course on F15s in the US in 1981, and another course at the Air War College in Alabama at Maxwell Air Force Command in 1994.
Al-Ayash holds a bachelor’s degree in air science from King Faisal Air Academy, and a master’s degree in military science from Staff College in Riyadh.
He also served as the director of the Plans and Operations Department at RSAF Command, the commander of King Khalid Air Base, chief of RSAF operations, and deputy commander of the RSAF, respectively.
Al-Ayash has received several military medals, including King Abdul Aziz Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Legion of Merit from France, the First Class Military Medal for Respect, and a Bronze Star from the US.
He recently visited to Australia at the invitation of Christopher Pyne, the Australian defense minister. The two men discussed bilateral relations and areas of common interest.
The meeting was also attended by Saudi Arabian ambassador to Australia, Musaed bin Ibrahim Al-Saleem, and several officials.