Permanent Joint Headquarters

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Permanent Joint Headquarters
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
 British Army
 Royal Air Force
Part ofJoint Forces Command
Garrison/HQEastbury, Hertfordshire
Vice Admiral Ben Key
Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood MOD

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) and the current CJO is Vice Admiral Ben Key.[1]


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] 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]

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

In 2010, the PJHQ and its 600 agents moved to a contemporary building in Northwood, London.[5][6] For the first time, all PJHQ agents were gathered under the same roof.[4]

In January 2013, the PJHQ was considering the launch of a show of force amid the Argentina-UK conflict over the Falkland Islands.[7]

Mission and duties[edit]

The PJHQ's mission is as follows:[8]

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

There are certain areas that the headquarters was not and will not be involved in:[8]

  • 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)

The cyber operations are co-jointly handled by the Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham and the PJHQ in Northwood.[9]


The Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) is the appointment held by the 3*-ranked Officer that leads PJHQ.[10]

Chiefs of Joint Operations
April 1996 Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Wallace
February 1999 Vice Admiral Sir Ian Garnett
August 2001 Lieutenant General Sir John Reith
26 July 2004 Air Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy
March 2006 Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Houghton
13 March 2009 Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach
December 2011 Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell
January 2015 Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer
June 2017 Vice Admiral Timothy Fraser
April 2019 Vice Admiral Ben Key

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Final Royal Navy helicopter returns from Oman". Royal Navy. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  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 2019-06-02.
  4. ^ a b "Ministry of Defence | About Defence | What we do | Doctrine Operations and Diplomacy | PJHQ | PJHQ - History". Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  5. ^ Wyatt, Caroline (2010-08-07). "Rare look at UK's 'Cell Block H'". Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  6. ^ "Queen opens military headquarters". 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  7. ^ "Britain preparing for new Falklands War?". RT International. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  8. ^ a b "The Permanent Joint Headquarters". Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  9. ^ Earl, Nicholas (2018-09-21). "UK to form new cyber force to combat Russian hacking". Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  10. ^ Modernising Defence: Implementing the Strategic Defence Review 30 March 1999

External links[edit]

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