US, UK Combined Chiefs Meet in London

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deanie, exchange greetings with British Navy Rear Adm. Mackay as they arrive on Stansted Airfield, England, June 9. (DoD photo by US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton)

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deanie, exchange greetings with British Navy Rear Adm. Mackay as they arrive on Stansted Airfield, England, June 9. (DoD photo by US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton)

The heads of the US and UK militaries have met for the second time, continuing the recent revival of the “Combined Chiefs of Staff” meetings that were made famous during World War II. This time, the group of generals and admirals met Tuesday in London.

The group discussed the “long-term strategic challenges the respective armed forces can expect to face together in the future,” according to a Defence Ministry statement. More importantly, MoD referred to the gathering as the “annual UKUS Combined Chiefs of Staff Conference,” meaning the leaders would continue these meetings in the future.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first time the entire US Joint Chiefs visited London since the 1940s. The UK chiefs attended meetings with their US counterparts in Washington in March 2013. That was the first meeting of the combined chiefs since 1948.

Here’s what MoD had to say about the topics discussed during the meetings at defense headquarters in Whitehall:

Topics discussed included how to continue the successful collaboration between the respective armed forces once the draw-down from Afghanistan has been completed and the importance of the transatlantic security alliance in advance of September’s NATO Summit.

Here’s what Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about Tuesday’s meetings:

We share a remarkably close relationship – not just as nations but as militaries. It’s one founded on our history, our values and genuine friendships. Whether we’re deployed in combat operations or in London addressing common priorities, our combined strength and experience make us better.

And now Gen. Sir Nicholas Houghton, the UK’s chief of the Defence Staff:

This important meeting of the Combined UK and US Chiefs of Staff comes at a significant time for both our militaries as we transition beyond combat operations in Afghanistan and reconfigure for emerging challenges. Discussions today have reflected the enduring and historic links between our two armed forces and underlined the closeness and strength of our military relationship.

Dempsey and the US Joint Chiefs also met with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street during the day-long visit.

Here are some photos form the visit including an honor guard greeting from Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards and the Regimental Band of the Welsh Guards.

Click here for more photos from the event.

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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