The nature of warfare is enduring but the characteristics of its application as we head further into the 21st Century are changing. The UK military already fights in a joint way, but in the future it will increasingly move beyond this and into a new paradigm, one where interdependence and multi-domain approaches are increasingly the norm. In this 2017 Sir Sydney Camm Lecture, General Sir Gordon Messenger, the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, will critically examine what this means for UK Defence and discuss his role in delivering competitive military advantage for the UK.
The Sir Sydney Camm Lecture was established in 1971, following his death in 1966, to commemorate his significant achievements in the field of aeronautical engineering. Sir Sydney Camm was one of Britain’s most distinguished aircraft designers. His achievements are unique; he was responsible for the design of numerous aircraft including the Hawker Hurricane fighter and also the Hart, the Fury, the Typhoon, Tempest, Sea Fury, Sea Hawk, the Hunter and the Harrier.
17.30 hrs Refreshments
18.00 hrs Lecture
19.30 hrs Reception
General Messenger joined the Royal Marines in 1983. After a range of junior officer appointments, predominantly in regimental service and including a 1 year Mountain Leader course, he attended the Canadian Staff College in 1994. Two staff jobs followed, in the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and HQ Royal Marines, before he was appointed as Chief of Staff to 3 Commando Brigade in 1999; a tour that included an operational deployment to Kosovo
He commanded 40 Commando from 2001 to 2003, which included operational deployments to Afghanistan and Op TELIC 1, the invasion of Iraq, in Mar 2003. After a sabbatical in Geneva, he joined Joint Force Headquarters as Chief of Staff in 2004; a job that saw him on various operations worldwide, including the tsunami relief effort, the civilian evacuation from Lebanon and command of the Op HERRICK Prelim Ops deployment in Southern Afghanistan in 2005.
After attending the Higher Command and Staff Course, he briefly acted as Director Force Development in MOD Main Building before being appointed to the position of Director Joint Commitments (Military) in Sep 2007, coordinating military policy for all overseas operations. After selection for Brigade command, he then commanded 3 Commando Brigade for their operational tour to Helmand Province in Sep 2008, followed by promotion and a tour as the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communication Officer.
From 2010 to 2012 he served as Chief of Staff (Operations) at the Permanent Joint Headquarters, responsible for the conduct and capability of UK overseas operations. On promotion to 3* in Jan 13, he assumed the position of Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey before becoming the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) in the MOD in Jul 14. General Messenger was appointed as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in May 16 following promotion to 4*.
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