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Defence and Security Strategy

Her Majesty The Queen

The Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond last week announced a number of senior appointments in the Armed Forces. Secretary Hammond said he was pleased to confirm that Her Majesty The Queen had approved the following senior appointments in the top echelon of the Armed Services:

  • Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC is to be appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, in succession to Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE ADC in April 2013;
  • Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE is to be promoted Air Chief Marshal and appointed Chief of the Air Staff, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC in July 2013;
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC is to be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, in succession to General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC in May 2013; and
  • Lieutenant General Richard Barrons CBE is to be promoted General and appointed Commander Joint Forces Command, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC in April 2013.”

Vigilance also learnt that there would be a further announcement in March 2013 concerning the appointment of a successor to the Chief of the Defence Staff, whilst the successor to the Chief of the General Staff will be announced in due course.

Biographies of the appointees

Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC (to be appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in April 2013;currently Commander Allied Maritime Command (Northwood))

Admiral Sir George Zambellas was educated in Zimbabwe, and at Stowe and Southampton University, graduating in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. He joined the Royal Navy in 1980 from the aerospace industry and qualified as a pilot in 1982. He flew three tours in different helicopter types, serving in carriers and frigates. After staff training in 1990, and a brief spell as a corporate planner, he commanded the mine hunter HMS Cattistock. In 1993, he was posted to Northwood as a Fleet aviation operations officer before promotion in 1995 and command of the frigate HMS Argyll.

During the 1997/98 Strategic Defence Review, he served in the MoD Centre Staff, helping to shape the maritime case within Defence’s tri-Service balance of investment. In 1999, as a Captain, he commanded HMS Chatham, which included Operation Palliser in Sierra Leone. In 2001 George Zambellas attended the Higher Command and Staff Course, and then became Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for training Royal Navy and foreign warships and auxiliaries.

Between 2002 and 2004, as a Commodore, he was Principal Staff Officer to two Chiefs of the Defence Staff. In 2005 he commanded the Royal Navy’s Amphibious Task Group, overseeing the introduction of two new amphibious classes of ships, and the Bowman radio and data system into amphibious operational use. He and his staff supported Operation Highbrow, the evacuation of civilians from the Lebanon, in July 2006.

In 2006, as a Rear Admiral, he was appointed as Chief of Staff (Transformation), leading the change programme to design and deliver the Fleet’s new approach to the generation of maritime capability and support to operations. In 2007, he was Commander United Kingdom Maritime Force and, in October 2008, Chief of Staff (Operations) at the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood. On promotion to Vice Admiral in January 2011, he was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Chief of Staff to the Navy Command Headquarters, and the Chief Naval Warfare Officer.

On promotion to Admiral in January 2012, George Zambellas became Commander, Allied Maritime Command Northwood, in which role he also discharged Full Command responsibilities as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander until November 2012. He was appointed KCB in 2012.

Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE (to be appointed Chief of the Air Staff in July 2013; currently Deputy Commander Capability at Air Command and Air Member for Personnel and Capability)

Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot in 1977 and after flying training, joined No 72 Squadron, flying Wessex helicopters, beginning an association with the Support Helicopter Force which would last 25 years. During his flying career he accumulated over 5,000 hours on both Wessex and Chinook helicopters, serving primarily in Germany with No 18 Squadron but including exchange tours with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. He has commanded in every rank and has seen operational service in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Lebanon, the Balkans and the Gulf.

Sir Andrew’s staff appointments have included command of the Support  Helicopter Tactics and Trials Flight, a short spell in Headquarters Northern Ireland as the Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps Operational Requirements desk officer, a tour in the British Army’s doctrine organisation and two years as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of Air Staff. He attended No 85 Advanced Staff Course at the Royal Air Force Staff College Bracknell in 1993 and graduated from the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2001.

He was Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Odiham for two years from December 2001, which included a period of unprecedented operational activity for his command, and included large scale deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. He moved to the Directorate of Air Resources and Plans in December 2003 and was subsequently appointed to the position of Director, on promotion to Air Commodore, in August 2004. He was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal in February 2007 when he commenced an 18 month tour as Air Officer Commanding No 2 Group. He assumed the post of Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) in the Ministry of Defence in October 2008. He took up his current role as Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel & Capability on 31 August 2010, on promotion to Air Marshal. He was appointed as Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the 2013 New Year Honours List.

Sir Andrew married Nicola in August 1982 and they have a daughter and a son. He enjoys sailing, skiing and motorcycling.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC (to be appointed Vice Chief of Defence Staff in May 2013;currently Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations))

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach was born in 1956 in the West Midlands. He was educated at Aldridge Grammar School, the University of Sheffield (BA), University of Cambridge (MPhil), RAF Staff College and the Joint Services Command and Staff College (HCSC). He holds two honorary Doctorates from Kingston University and University ofSheffield.

Commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1977, he flew Canberras in the photographic reconnaissance role prior to three successive tours on Tornado GR1 in the UK and Germany, qualifying as a weapons and electronic warfare instructor. He commanded IX (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Brüggen in Germany 1994-1996. Staff tours include personal staff officer to the Deputy Commander and Commander-in-Chief in RAF Germany, Executive Officer to Commander Second Allied Tactical Air Force and Director Defence Studies Royal Air Force. Operational service includes Belize, Hong Kong andGermany in the 1980s, Deputy Commander British Forces in Turkey (Op Warden), UK Head Military Coordination Centre Zakho (Iraq), Detachment Commander in Saudi Arabia (Op Jural), Commander British Forces in Italy (Op Engadine), Air Commander (Forward) in HQ KFOR on Kosovo and Deputy Senior British Military Adviser in US HQ Central Command 2001-2002
He commanded the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington from 2000 to 2003, was Director General Intelligence Collection in the Ministry of Defence 2003-2006 and Chief of Defence Intelligence and Deputy Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee 2006-2009. He held the appointment of Chief of Joint Operations at PJHQ(UK) from March 2009-December 2011 before assuming his current role as Commander Joint Forces Command in December 2011.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach is married with two children. He is a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum with special responsibility for Duxford, Honorary Colonel of the Joint Service Signal Unit. Interests include poor skiing, worse golf, better cooking and a passion for military history.

Lieutenant General Richard Barrons CBE (to be appointed Commander Joint Forces Command in April 2013;currently Commander of Joint Forces Command)

Lieutenant General Richard Barrons was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1977, prior to reading for a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Queen’s College, Oxford. He then served in a variety of regimental appointments based in the UK and Germany, which included periods of training in Belize, Canada, France, Hong Kong and Brunei, and two years at the MoD, London.

He completed a Masters degree in Defence Administration in 1990 before attending the Army Staff College, Camberley in 1991.

As Chief of Staff of HQ 11 Armoured Brigade in Minden, Germany, he was despatched at a week’s notice in October 1993 to form the first HQ British Forces in Bosnia and Croatia. This was followed by a short tour in the Directorate of Military Operations as the Balkans desk officer, before assuming command of B Battery, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in 1994 for two years – including a period of Northern Ireland duty.

On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 1996 he served as a Military Advisor to the High Representative in Bosnia, also leading on liaison with HQ NATO and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In 1997 he was appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff. He assumed command of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in Hohne,Germany in 1999, deploying the Regiment to Kosovo and Bosnia in 2001 and commanding the first KFOR deployments alongside Serbian forces.

He was promoted to Colonel in December 2001 and appointed Chief of Staff of 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, deploying to Afghanistan the next day as the Headquarters established the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul for the first half of 2002. Having attended the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2003, he deployed again with the Headquarters as the Chief of Staff of HQ Multinational Division (South East) in Basra until October 2003.

As a Brigadier, he commanded 39 Infantry Brigade, covering Belfast and South Armagh from December 2003 to December 2005 when he assumed the appointment of Assistant Chief of Staff Commitments at HQ Land Forces, responsible for intelligence, security and operations – especially force generation for Iraq and Afghanistan.

On promotion to Major General in 2008 he served as a Deputy Commanding General of Multinational Corps Iraq (Baghdad), leading on operations with the Iraqi Army.

He was appointed Chief of Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in April 2009. In October 2009 he was posted at very short notice to HQ ISAF as Director Force Reintegration, assisting the Afghan Government to lay the foundations for the reintegration of Taliban fighters and political reconciliation.

He became Assistant Chief of the General Staff in July 2010 to participate in the Strategic Defence and Security Review and Defence Reform exercises. He was promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed as Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy & Operations) in May 2011.

Lieutenant General Barrons is married to Cherry, who was previously an officer in Women’s Royal Naval Service and is now Assistant Regimental Secretary for the Army Air Corps. They have two children: Annabel (21) and Charlotte (19). Lieutenant General Barrons enjoys downhill skiing, cycling, military history, good films and peripatetic gardening. He was appointed MBE in 1993, OBE in 1999, CBE in 2003, awarded QCVS in 2004 and 2006, and appointed as an Officer of the US Legion of Merit in 2009. He is chairman of Royal Artillery Museum Ltd.

Also, in another development, the armed forces last week informed personnel as to which fields would be liable for tranche three of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme.

These redundancies are not new and are the third tranche of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme that was announced in the Strategic Defence Security Review in October 2010 and in July 2012. This tranche will consist of up to 5,300 soldiers from the Army and will not involve any Royal Navy or Royal Air Force personnel.

The Army has worked hard to limit the numbers of soldiers involved throughout the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme by reducing recruitment levels and has made certain groups of soldiers exempt from selection on the day that redundancy notices are issued. They are:

  • Soldiers that are recovering from a serious injury sustained on operations;
  • Soldiers preparing for combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply;
  • Soldiers on combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply; and
  • Soldiers recovering from combat operations, unless they voluntarily apply.

As a result of the drawdown plans already announced, those units liable to deploy on Herrick 19 will not be confirmed until April 2013.

Personnel who are liable to deploy with their units to Afghanistan in autumn 2013 on the day the redundancy notices are issued will be exempt from Tranche 3 unless they are an applicant.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “The Army is actively managing recruitment to reach the target numbers, but unfortunately redundancies are unavoidable due to the size of the defence deficit that this Government inherited and the consequent scale of downsizing required in the Army. We will have smaller Armed Forces but they will in future be properly equipped and well funded, unlike before. These redundancies will not affect current operations in Afghanistan, where our Armed Forces continue to fight so bravely on this country’s behalf.”

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Peter Wall said: “The Army is unfortunately reducing to 82,000 by 2015 and this tranche of redundancy is essential to achieving that. I fully recognise the unwelcome uncertainty and pressure for those who will be liable in the employment fields announced today. For some it may present an opportunity; for others it will curtail their Service prematurely. Our aim now is to apply the process as fairly as possible and to prepare to support those individuals who are selected as they and their families transition to civilian life.”

A source at the MoD said there is likely to be a need for a further tranche for Army personnel and medical and dental personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, adding to ensure any further redundancies are as fair as possible it is likely that they would include soldiers who were exempt from redundancy in Tranche three due to operational exclusions. This work is ongoing.

The source further said is is important the Armed Forces continue to recruit to ensure we have enough quality junior ranks and young officers to promote up through the organisation in future. He said the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme had been designed to safeguard those skill sets needed in the future Armed Forces, while ensuring that rank structure remains balanced and support to combat operations is not compromised.


1.     In the Strategic Defence Security Review the Ministry of Defence announced plans to reduce the size of the Army by around 7,000 personnel, and both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force by around 5,000 personnel by 2015 in order to ensure our Armed Forces are sufficiently flexible and adaptable to meet the demands of an uncertain future. Some of these reductions are being made through a redundancy programme. When looking at the balance of Regular to Reserve forces, further reductions were identified in July 2011 for the regular Army, taking them to around 82,000 by 2020.

2.     The Armed Forces Redundancy Programme seeks applicants by assessing criteria such as rank, arm, length of service, and career employment group in areas where a surplus of Army manpower exists. Successful Applicants will leave the Army no later than six months after selection, with non-applicants leaving no later than 12 months after selection.

3.     The Redundancy Programme will not impact adversely on current operations in Afghanistan. No one who is serving on specified operations on the day the redundancy notices are issued on 18 June 2013 will be made redundant unless they are applicants. Similarly, those preparing for, or recovering from such operations on the day the redundancy notices are issued will not be made redundant unless they have applied.

4.     Those personnel who are liable to deploy with their units to Afghanistan in autumn 2013 on the day the redundancy notices are issued will be exempt from Tranche three unless they are an applicant. As a result of the drawdown plans already announced, those units liable to deploy will not be confirmed until April 2013. Any applicant who is selected for redundancy and whose unit is subsequently deployed will be able to choose whether to deploy with the unit or not.

5.     Any soldier recovering from a serious injury sustained on operations is exempt. They would only leave the Army through medical discharge and only they have reached an appropriate point in their recovery.

6.     We have a robust resettlement programme in place and historically 93 per cent of those who look for work are in full-time employment within six months of leaving, rising to 97 per cent after 12 months. 91 per cent of Tranche one applicants who left the Service in March or April 2012, have already found alternative employment after 6 months. Any soldier that wants more information about the resettlement programme should speak to their Commanding Officer.