Sir Stuart Peach

Chief Of Defence Staff Elected As New NATO Chairman of Military Council

He will be the first Briton to hold the position for 25 years.

Sir Stuart Peach

The UK Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has been elected as the new NATO Chairman of the Military Committee, the first Briton to hold the position for 25 years.

Following a lengthy election campaign, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach was elected by other NATO Chiefs of Defence.

It is expected that CDS will take over the role in June 2018.

CDS Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said: "It is a huge honour to have been chosen to be the next Chairman of the Military Committee, one of the most important positions in NATO, central to European security.

"I am excited to take on this next challenge at such an important time for NATO, at a time when the alliance must modernise to face new and ever adapting threats.

"Having spent the last year in the hugely rewarding position as Head of the UK’s Armed Forces, I know I am ready to take on this challenge.

"I would like to personally thank all of those who supported me through this campaign and voted for me in the election."

Sir Stuart has been in the role of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) since July 2016 part of his long and successful military career after joining the RAF in 1977.

Highlights of his career include commanding the UK’s intervention in Libya in 2011 and becoming the first Commander of UK Joint Forces in December that same year.

What Does the NATO Chairman of the Military Committee Do?

The appointment will see Sir Stuart become NATO’s senior military officer and act as the principal military advisor to the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The NATO Military Committee advises the North Atlantic Council on military policy and strategy.

The Military Committee is made up of senior officers from each NATO country's armed forces.

These representatives are together responsible for assisting and advising the North Atlantic Council, Defence Planning Committee, and Nuclear Planning Group on military matters.

The Chairman of the Military Committee chairs all the meetings and acts in an international capacity.

The current chairman – to be succeeded by Sir Stuart Peach is Czech General Petr Pavel.

He said: "I welcome the election of CDS Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach.

"I have no doubt his vast experience as Chief of Defence but also as a Military Committee member, will allow him to chair the Committee with great aptitude, ensuring the North Atlantic Council continues to receive sound and unfettered military advice from the Military Committee to guide their work. I wish him the best of luck in his future position."

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "That Air Chief Marshal Peach has been elected to this position by his fellow Chiefs of Defence across NATO underlines the esteem in which he is held by his peers.

"No-one understands better the challenges that NATO faces and I am sure that he will serve the Alliance with the same professionalism and rigour with which he has furthered Britain’s interests throughout his distinguished career.

"While Sir Stuart’s appointment is testament to his ability and achievements, it is also a demonstration of the leading role that the UK plays in NATO and the importance of the Alliance to the UK."