Permanent Joint Headquarters


The Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) is the British tri-service headquarters from where all overseas military operations are planned and controlled. It is situated at Northwood Headquarters in Northwood, London. The Permanent Joint Headquarters is commanded by the Chief of Joint Operations (CJO), the position of which is currently held by Lieutenant General Charles Stickland.

Permanent Joint Headquarters
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
 British Army
 Royal Air Force
TypeJoint command
Part ofStrategic Command
LocationNorthwood Headquarters, Hertfordshire, England
Lt Gen Charles Stickland
Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood MOD

History edit

Major General Christopher Wallace led the team that began establishing the headquarters from 1994.[1] "Senior officers in the Army and RAF did not welcome this initiative and Wallace had to deploy his considerable skills of advocacy to win that battle"[1] (to establish the new joint headquarters).

The Permanent Joint Headquarters was established on 1 April 1996 to enhance the operational effectiveness and efficiency of UK-led joint, potentially joint and multi-national operations, and to exercise operational command of UK forces assigned to multinational operations led by others.[2] Wallace was appointed as CJO in the rank of lieutenant general. The PJHQ started to assume responsibility for military operations worldwide (fully operational) on 1 August 1996.[3] The 35-hectare Northwood Headquarters site has belonged to the RAF since 1938.[4]

By mid-1998, a short-notice deployable headquarters commanded by a Brigadier-equivalent officer, the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) was being established within PJHQ. The JFHQ was an outgrowth of the PJHQ's J3 Operations staff. The JFHQ was described as 'capable of deploying into the field at very short notice,' by its first commander, Brigadier David Richards. Richards was appointed as Chief Joint Rapid Deployment Force Operations, and also to expand the concept that underpinned its creation, the Joint Rapid Reaction Forces.[5] The JRRFs were to be "a pool of highly capable force elements, maintained at high and very high readiness,"[6] from which the UK was to meet all short notice contingencies. Initially planned to have a staff of 24, Richards expanded the JFHQ to 55 strong, 'something our training and experience on exercise was proving necessary.'[7]

In 2007-2008, the PJHQ' s budget was estimated around £475 million.[3]

In 2010, the PJHQ and its 600 staff officers and enlisted personnel moved to a contemporary building in Northwood, London.[8][9] For the first time, all PJHQ staff were gathered under the same roof.[4]

Among the operations supervised by PJHQ have been Operation Veritas (Afghanistan, 2001); Operation Telic (2003 invasion of Iraq); Operation Herrick (UK operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from 2006); and Operation Pitting (evacuation of UK nationals and at-risk Afghanistanis from Kabul in 2021).[10]

Mission and duties edit

The PJHQ's mission is as follows:[11]

"CJO is to exercise operational command of UK forces assigned to overseas joint and combined operations; and to provide politically aware military advice to the MOD in order to achieve MOD UK’s strategic objectives on operations"

PJHQ operates cyber operations in coordination with the Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham.[12]

There are certain areas that the headquarters will not be involved in:[11]

  • Strategic Nuclear Deterrent
  • Defence of the UK Home Base, Territorial Waters and Airspace
  • Northern Ireland
  • Counter-terrorism in UK (Home Office)
  • NATO Article V (General War) (NATO Military Command Structure)

As of November 2022, there were 567 military and civil service personnel assigned to PJHQ.[13]

Commanders edit

The Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) is the appointment held by the three star ranked officer that leads PJHQ.[14]

Date of Appointment Rank Name Branch
April 1996 Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Wallace   British Army
February 1999 Vice Admiral Sir Ian Garnett   Royal Navy
August 2001 Lieutenant General Sir John Reith   British Army
26 July 2004 Air Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy   Royal Air Force
March 2006 Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Houghton   British Army
13 March 2009 Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach   Royal Air Force
December 2011 Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell   Royal Marines
January 2015 Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer   British Army
June 2017 Vice Admiral Tim Fraser   Royal Navy
April 2019 Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key   Royal Navy
November 2021 Lieutenant General Charles Stickland   Royal Marines

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Wallace – obituary". The Telegraph. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Permanent Joint Headquarters". Armed Forces. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Armed Forces - m06 - Permanent Joint Headquarters(PJHQ) - Overview of International Operations - Headquarters Structure - PJHQ Headquarters Structure - Lt General J N Houghton". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Ministry of Defence | About Defence | What we do | Doctrine Operations and Diplomacy | PJHQ | PJHQ - History". Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ Anthony Stone, 'Joint approach to defence: Three into One Will Go,' Soldier magazine, May 1999, 36, and General David Richards, 'Taking Command: The Autobiography,' Headline Publishing Group, 2014, 95-97.
  6. ^ PJHQ Brief circa July 2000, via liaison officer at PJHQ
  7. ^ Richards 2014, 99.
  8. ^ Wyatt, Caroline (7 August 2010). "Rare look at UK's 'Cell Block H'". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Queen opens military headquarters". 6 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Military operation established to support the drawdown of British nationals from Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 13 August 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b "The Permanent Joint Headquarters". Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  12. ^ Watson, Ben; Peniston, Bradley (21 September 2020). "New US cyber strategy; Brits to add 2K cyber troops; Army to uparmor 2 BCTs; Rovers on an astroid; Did USAF highball Space Force cost?; And a bit more". Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Permanent Joint Headquarters: Staff (UIN 107056)". UK Parliament. Ministry of Defence. 19 December 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  14. ^ Modernising Defence: Implementing the Strategic Defence Review 30 March 1999
  • Vice Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, "My Job: The Challenge of Joint Command," RUSI Journal, August 1999
  • Vice Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, "PJHQ: The Heart of UK Defence Capability," RUSI Journal, April 2000

External links edit

  • Permanent Joint Headquarters

51°37′10″N 0°24′34″W / 51.61944°N 0.40944°W / 51.61944; -0.40944