Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach elected as next Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

  • 16 Sep. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 16 Sep. 2017 20:02

The Allied Chiefs of Defence have elected Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces as their next Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

General Petr Pavel, current Chairman of the Military Committee announced the result of the election by stating, I welcome the election of Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdoms. I am confident that his vast experience as Chief of Defence Staff as well 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 role which he will assume in the summer of 2018.

Speaking on his election, 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 the NATO alliance, 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 of the UK Chief of Defence Staff, 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.

The United Kingdom is a strong and committed Ally and a major contributor to NATO missions and operations. The UK is making significant contributions to our Alliance, with ships in our Standing Naval Groups, assets to NATO Aegean activity to assist international efforts to tackle the migrant and refugee crisis and major exercise deployments. The British Armed Forces have contributed substantially to the security and development in Afghanistan through both the former International Security Assistance Force , assist and advise Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and institutions. The United Kingdom has also shown strong Allied solidarity by not only reinforcing Baltic air policing mission, but also by participating in the enhanced air policing mission in the Black Sea region. It also plays a key role as a Framework Nation in Estonia and a Contributing Nation in Poland within NATO.

The Chairman is the senior military advisor to the Secretary General and North Atlantic Council. He represents their consensus-based views to the Secretary General, the North Atlantic Council and other NATO organizations. He guides the Military Committee

The position of Chairman of the Military Committee is normally held for a period of three years, but may be extended, upon request of the Chiefs of Defence and on the agreement of the Nation providing the Chairman. The year before the Chairmanship position is due to end, Nations are informed that the position will become open and of the deadline as to when Nations are to put forward their candidate. It is not obligatory for Nations to put forward a candidate. The Chiefs of Defence in a close hold meeting will then elect their next Chairman from the candidates put forward.

The Military Committee (MC) has existed since 1949, but the format has evolved. From 1949 to 1963, the MC met in the Chiefs-of-Staff Session; from 1958 to 1961 in Permanent Session; since 1963, the MC meets twice a year at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, at the level of Chiefs of Defence, and once a year in an Allied member country.

The position of Chairman of the Military Committee has been held so far by 18 officers (counting from 1963) from the following Nations: Germany (five times); the United Kingdom (three times); Canada, Italy and Norway (twice); Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Netherlands (once).