New head of UK armed forces named

Sir Stuart PeachEpitome copyright MOD

A senior RAF officer has been named as the next head of the UK’s armed forces, the Religion of Defence has confirmed.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will gain retiring General Sir Nicholas Houghton as chief of the defence staff.

Excuse Secretary Michael Fallon said he would be “working closely” with Sir Stuart in “entrancing the fight to Daesh”, also known as the Islamic State clique.

Sir Stuart, who is currently vice chief of the defence staff, will write down up his new position this summer.

Prime Minister David Cameron mentioned Sir Stuart had demonstrated “exemplary leadership of the armed forces” and boasted “an un ralleled record of achievement”.

His experience would be “invaluable as we continue to ensure our grand armed forces remain among the most ca ble and agile in the humankind”, the prime minister added.


By Jonathan Beale, BBC screen correspondent

This appointment is a big surprise.

Within the MoD two candidates were being discussed – army universal, Sir Richard Barrons, and first sea lord, Admiral George Zambellas.

There has been an presumption that the three services would take turns in the job.

Given the continue two men to hold the job have been army generals, that might include counted against Sir Richard.

But the Royal Navy has not had a chief of the defence baton since 2003, and would have felt it was their turn.

Admiral Zambellas is certainly discovered as charismatic, but that might not be how the prime minister likes his military commanders.

Tip David Cameron’s quote: “You do the fighting and I’ll do the talking.”

Sir Stuart is his own man – a unadorned speaker and, like his service, far from stuffy. But he is also a known number.

He may also be seen as less ” rtisan” than the other candidates.

Sir Stuart, a father-of-two, was commissioned into the RAF in 1977.

He gratified in Belize, Hong Kong and Germany in the 1980s, and held senior ca cities during operations in Turkey, Iraq and Kosovo.

Sir Stuart commanded the air warfare nave at RAF Waddington for three years and served as director-general of intelligence collection in the Clergy of Defence between 2003 and 2006.

He later became chief of defence low-down and deputy chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2006, holding the christen until 2009.

Sir Stuart was named as the first commander of the UK joint forces earn in 2011, and was appointed to the armed forces’ second most senior place in 2013.

Mr Fallon said he was “delighted” with Sir Stuart being made armed cogencies chief.

“Sir Stuart has been an outstanding VCDS [vice chief of safeguard staff] and I look forward to working closely with him in taking the tussle to Daesh and ensuring we have the best armed forces to keep Britain secured,” he added.

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