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New Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach has succeeded General Sir Nicholas Houghton as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.

The details of the succession today, Friday 10 May, were announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, in January this year.

Air Chief Marshal Peach is the Chief of the Defence Staff’s deputy for operational matters and acts as the Chief Operating Officer for the Armed Forces element of Defence business. As a member of the Defence Board he is the lead for military personnel and training (including Reserves).

General Houghton assumes the role of Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2013

Air Chief Marshal Peach said:

It is a privilege to succeed General Houghton as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. As the only military member of Lord Levene’s Defence Reform team, he has been instrumental in leading change across Defence and the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces. He is to be commended for the pivotal role he has played.

While success on operations will remain our key focus, we must continue to transform our Armed Forces to ensure that they remain the most relevant, effective and affordable fighting force in the world. There is more work to be done and I look forward to picking up the baton and doing my part to see through the changes.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton hands over to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach
Outgoing Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton (left), hands over to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach at MOD's Main Building [Picture: Sergeant Jez Doak RAF, Crown copyright]

Handing over his role, General Houghton said:

Over the past 2 years we have been implementing the most radical change programme in Defence for a generation. The delivery of Future Force 2020 depends on realising the benefits of the strong foundations that have been laid.

Air Chief Marshal Peach is well placed to take this on, having taken the newly-formed Joint Forces Command from a standing start just 2 years ago to full operational capability in April of this year. He is the right man for the job, and I look forward to working with him as my deputy when I take over as Chief of the Defence Staff in July.

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