WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 —
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. service chiefs met in London today with British Prime Minister David Cameron at No. 10 Downing Street and with their counterparts at the British Defense Ministry.
A statement from the British Defense Ministry said the day-long series of discussions among the military leaders at defense headquarters in Whitehall marked the first time the Combined Chiefs of Staff had met since the 1940s.
Dempsey and the U.S. service chiefs met with Britain’s chief of defense staff, Gen. Sir Nicholas Houghton, and the United Kingdom service chiefs. Topics included how to continue the successful collaboration between the respective armed forces once the drawdown from Afghanistan has been completed and the importance of the transatlantic security alliance in advance of September’s NATO Summit, the Defense Ministry’s statement said.
"We share a remarkably close relationship -- not just as nations but as militaries,” Dempsey said after the discussions, according to the statement. “It's one founded on our history, our values and genuine friendships. Whether we're deployed in combat operations or in London addressing common priorities, our combined strength and experience make us better."
Houghton echoed Dempsey’s sentiments.
“This important meeting of the combined U.K. and U.S. chiefs of staff comes at a significant time for both our militaries as we transition beyond combat operations in Afghanistan and reconfigure for emerging challenges,” he said. “Discussions today have reflected the enduring and historic links between our two armed forces and underlined the closeness and strength of our military relationship.”
The Combined Chiefs of Staff met regularly during World War II between 1942 and the end of the war, but also convened in 1948 in response to the Berlin Blockade, the Defense Ministry statement said.