In the last fortnight I was honoured to be invited to visit HM Armed Forces Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) in Northwood, which is where all overseas military operations are planned and controlled.
I had the opportunity to meet various senior military personnel and civil servants from the Ministry of Defence, and we discussed issues from across the globe, describing for me how overseas military operations are planned and controlled.
The Headquarters does the operational level planning and gives politically-aware military advice to the Ministry of Defence, and then the Ministry puts the strategic advice on top of the operational advice in the decision-making process that thereafter goes before ministers. Indeed, as the Government’s Chief Legal Advisor, my role as Attorney General involves giving legal advice.
Part of Strategic Command, PJHQ is based in Northwood (north-west London) and commands joint and multinational military operations on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The base has been used by the British Armed Forces since 1939. It was also home to the RAF Coastal Command during World War I and is now the UK’s principal military HQ site and home to five Operational HQs.