News story

Military leaders meet in London for first time since WW2

The UK has hosted the entire Combined Chiefs of Staff, Britain and the USA's most senior military figures.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

United States General Martin Dempsey inspects the Guard of Honour on Horse Guards Parade in London [Picture: Sergeant Pete Mobbs, Crown copyright]
United States General Martin Dempsey inspects the Guard of Honour on Horse Guards Parade in London

The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) from the US and the UK met today, 10 June, to discuss the long-term strategic challenges that their respective armed forces can expect to face together in the future.

General Martin E Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the heads of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, met with General Sir Nicholas Houghton, UK Chief of the Defence Staff, and UK service chiefs.

The senior military leaders were greeted by a guard of honour provided by Number 7 Company of the Coldstream Guards and the Band of the Welsh Guards, before attending the annual UK-US CCS conference at defence headquarters in Whitehall.

Topics discussed included how to continue the successful collaboration between their respective armed forces once the drawdown from Afghanistan has been completed and the importance of the transatlantic security alliance in advance of September’s NATO Summit.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff
The Combined Chiefs of Staff. Left to right: Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, General James Amos, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, General Martin Dempsey, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, General Mark Welsh III, General Sir Richard Barrons, General Sir Peter Wall, and General Raymond Odierno [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Derek Wade, Crown copyright]

The bilateral military relationship between the UK and US is based on a long, shared history which has seen both forces routinely involved in combat operations together, more prominently over the last decade. This meeting reinforces the close alliance between the two countries’ armed forces.

General Dempsey said:

We share a remarkably close relationship; not just as nations but as militaries. It’s one founded on our history, our values and genuine friendships. Whether we’re deployed in combat operations or in London addressing common priorities, our combined strength and experience make us better.

General Houghton added:

This important meeting of the Combined UK and US Chiefs of Staff comes at a significant time for both our militaries as we transition beyond combat operations in Afghanistan and reconfigure for emerging challenges. Discussions today have reflected the enduring and historic links between our two armed forces and underlined the closeness and strength of our military relationship.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff met regularly during the Second World War between 1942 and the end of the war, but also convened in 1948 in response to the Berlin blockade.

Published 10 June 2014