28/04/2006

New Chief of Defence Staff takes over post

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup has taken over as Chief of Defence Staff, taking over from General Sir Michael Walker.

Air Chief Marshal Stirrup was Chief of Air Staff between August 2003 and April 2006. He was commissioned into the RAF in 1970.

Since then, he has undertaken a wide number of roles, seeing action in the Dhofar War whilst 'on loan' to the Sultan of Oman's Air Force.

More recently, he took up the post of UK National Contingent Commander for Operation VERITAS, the UK's contribution to the US-led operation in Afghanistan, in September 2001.

Commenting on his appointment, Air Chief Marshal Stirrup said: "It is a very great honour to become Chief of the Defence Staff. The men and women of the Armed Forces continue to demonstrate today the qualities of professionalism, skill, dedication and courage that have been their hallmark for so many years. Their service to their country is something of which all of us can and should be proud, and it is an enormous privilege to be asked to lead them."

Commenting on his last day, General Sir Michael Walker said: "As I hand over the reins of the Chief of Defence Staff to Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, I offer my personal thank you and congratulations to the British Service personnel whom it has been my immense privilege to lead during my time in office. My 3 year tenure has seen our Armed Forces heavily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the Balkans and elsewhere throughout the world.

"These 3 years have not been without sacrifice, and one cannot help but feel a deep sadness for the losses that have occurred. I know that they have not been in vain, but rather for a greater international good. And, as I handover, I do so confident that Britain's defence remains in excellent hands."

(KMcA/CD)

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