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Old 21st Jan 2016, 21:36
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Chinny Crewman
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Odiham
Posts: 190
From The Times:
Airman beats army and navy rivals to top job | The Times

Text for those unable to access behind the paywall:
A straight-talking airman will be named tomorrow as the new head of the armed forces in an apparent snub to a top army officer and the head of the Royal Navy who had been favourites for the job.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, vice chief of the defence staff, will take over the top post from General Sir Nicholas Houghton in the summer, The Times understands.
His appointment will be welcomed by many senior officers within the Ministry of Defence who regard him as a strong, smart leader who is not afraid of speaking truth to power.
The choice of Air Chief Marshal Peach will come as a surprise, however.
Top brass at his level often step down after serving in two, consecutive four-star posts.
The former fast jet airman has been the No 2 in the armed forces since May 2013 and beforehand was the commander of Joint Forces Command, a new, four-star headquarters that oversees operational elements of the army, the navy and the RAF.
General Sir Richard Barrons, the incumbent joint forces commander, had been regarded as one of the most likely people to take over from Sir Nicholas, even though his appointment would make it three army officers in a row as chief of the defence staff.
“If anyone has had his nose put out of joint it will be Barrons,” a Whitehall source said.
Also in the running had been Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the first sea lord.
The top job had been considered his to lose three years ago because it was “the navy’s turn” to lead the military, defence sources said at the time.
However, Admiral Zambellas has had to struggle with big challenges facing his service, including a shortfall of engineers and questions over whether there were enough sailors to man all the ships and submarines that are due to come on line.
The last time a navy officer headed the armed forces was between 2001 and 2003 when Admiral Lord Boyce was in charge during a testing period that covered the 9/11 attacks and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since then the army has held the post on three occasions, with General Lord Walker of Aldringham at the helm from 2003 until 2006, General Lord Richards of Herstmonceux from 2010 to 2013 and most recently General Houghton.
Air Chief Marshal Lord Stirrup, an RAF man, was the longest-serving chief of the defence staff in recent times, holding the post from 2006 until 2010. The position is usually held for three years.
Born in 1956 in the West Midlands, Air Chief Marshal Peach commissioned into the RAF in 1977 to train as a navigator.
He flew in a photo reconnaissance aircraft before moving into the navigator seat, also known as the weapon systems operator, on a Tornado fast jet.
He commanded IX (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Brüggen in Germany between 1994 and 1996. He has served in Iraq and Kosovo and also conducted operational tours in Belize, Hong Kong and Germany.
Climbing up through the ranks, Air Chief Marshal Peach was chief of defence intelligence and deputy chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee between 2006 and 2009.
He is married with two children.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment when asked for confirmation of the appointment.
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