News story

New Joint Forces Command established

The new Joint Forces Command (JFC) achieved Initial Operating Capability today, 2 April 2012.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Joint Forces Command stands up at Northwood HQ

A military band plays as the new Joint Forces Command stands up at Northwood HQ on 2 April 2012 [Picture: Mark Rawlings, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

The launch of the Joint Forces Command is a major milestone in the MOD’s Transforming Defence programme - the most significant programme of Defence reform for a generation.

To mark the establishment of the new Joint Forces Command today Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond MP, attended a ceremonial event at JFC’s new Northwood headquarters. The Defence Secretary also unveiled a plaque to mark the event.

The Joint Forces Command has been established to ensure that a range of vital military capabilities, functions and organisations - such as medical services, training and education, intelligence, and cyber - are organised and managed effectively and efficiently to support success on operations.

By bringing together a number of joint Defence organisations, the Joint Forces Command will ensure investment in joint capabilities is appropriate and coherent, and strengthen the link between experience in operational theatres and top-level decision-making.

The creation of the Joint Forces Command was recommended by the Defence Reform review, led by Lord Levene, as part of the most significant programme of change across the Ministry of Defence in a generation. The report was published in June 2011; and the Joint Forces Command has been designed and delivered from scratch in only nine months.

Over the next year, the Joint Forces Command will assume the full range of its planned responsibilities in support of Defence’s objectives for current operations, future contingencies, and for the longer term.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said:

I am delighted to be in command for the launch of the Joint Forces Command. Throughout my career I have been passionate about the effective delivery of joint capabilities, and I will ensure that, from the very start, the Joint Forces Command places this at the heart of everything it does. Since I took up post in December 2011, I have visited most of our units, overseen our organisation taking shape, and I now look forward to leading it to deliver world-class support to our military forces.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The establishment of the Joint Forces Command in such a short timeframe is a significant achievement in the delivery of Defence Reform. I look forward to working with Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach as he leads this new Command to deliver a step-change in the way that UK Defence plans, prepares and executes joint operations.

On 2 April 2012, the following organisations transferred to the Joint Forces Command:

• The Permanent Joint Headquarters (known as PJHQ)
• The Permanent Joint Operating Bases in Gibraltar, Cyprus, British Indian Ocean Territory and South Atlantic Islands
• The Joint Force Headquarters
• The Joint Force Logistics Component
• The Joint Counter-Terrorist Training and Advisory Team
• The Directorate of Special Forces
• The Defence Academy
• The Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre
• Defence Intelligence
• Surgeon General’s Headquarters and the Joint Medical Command
• The Joint Arms Control Implementation Group
• The Defence Centre of Training Support
• The Defence Cyber Operations Group.

The total number of military and civilian personnel in the Joint Forces Command will be around 30,000 - which includes forces deployed on operations under command of the Chief of Joint Operations. These personnel are at sites across the UK, overseas in the Permanent Joint Operating Bases, and on operations in military theatres around the world, most notably Afghanistan.

The headquarters of the Joint Forces Command, situated at Northwood, north of London, at initial operating capability, is a lean structure, consisting of around 150 civilian and military staff.

The Command will reach its full operating capability by April 2013, by when it will have assumed additional responsibilities and functions. As the new Command matures, it will continue to develop Defence foundation and joint capabilities.

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Published 2 April 2012