Group Captain Kaarin Kooij has a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Group Captain Kaarin Kooij was born in Holland, but moved to Australia with her family at a young age. She joined the Royal Australian Air Force through the Australian Defence Force Academy in January 1990. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, Group Captain Kooij was posted to No 292 Squadron in Adelaide as the Administrative Officer.
After a short stint at No 1 Recruit Training Unit in 1995, Group Captain Kooij posted to the Officer in Charge of Administrative Services at No 303 Air Base Wing where she lead the housing, removals, pay, travel and central personnel functions for RAAF Base Edinburgh. After an 18 month tour as the Senior Air Force Recruiting Officer, Group Captain Kooij completed her Masters in Business Administration and was posted on promotion to Squadron Leader to Executive Officer of Director General Aerospace Development in mid 1999. Here she coordinated all Aerospace Projects that were not yet to contract. Group Captain Kooij was then posted to Staff Officer Personnel No 86 Wing at Richmond in 2001 where she was responsible for the logistics, administration and personnel for all operations involving C130 Hercules and DHC4 Caribou aircraft. Whilst in her role at 86 Wing, in support Operations SLIPPER and CATALYST, Group Captain Kooij deployed to United States Central Command in Tampa, Florida for five months.
Group Captain Kooij gained command of No 22 Squadron in January 2005, where she saw the Unit peak in its training of officer and recruit trainees, gain Australian Quality Training Framework accreditation and facilitated the Reserve Restructure at RAAF Richmond. In 2008, Group Captain Kooij was posted to the Chief Staff Officer role in Director General Support for Headquarters Joint Operations Command supporting our personnel on operations across the globe.
In 2009, Group Captain Kooij was posted to the Recruiting Liaison Officer – Air Force role. In this role she represented Air Force at a strategic level, acting as the interface between Defence Force Recruiting and Air Force. In 2011, she was posted to Staff Officer Personnel Capability/Commanding Officer Headquarters Air Lift Group where she oversaw the workforce plan for the transitioning of several aircraft types in and out of service. In 2014 she posted to Deputy Director of Coordination /Commanding Officer Headquarters Air Command where she commanded over 400 personnel and was responsible for all activities at RAAF Base Glenbrook. After this role she was promoted to Group Captain and posted to Director Military Recruiting in January 2016.
Group Captain Kooij is married to Glenn, and they have two children, Declan and Alexandra. They are keen travellers having travelled throughout Europe, Canada and the US; and backpacked through South America, parts of the Middle East, China and Africa.