This morning, USGIF announced Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff for the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF), as the 2015 recipient of the USGIF Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award. Peach is the 11th individual to receive this prestigious award and was recognized during the GEOINT 2015 Symposium general session.
Peach was unable to attend the Symposium, and instead sent a video of his acceptance speech to be played for the audience. “Thank you so much for honoring me with this award,” said Peach. “II is of course not for me, it is for all of the members of the United Kingdom intelligence services past, present, and hopefully future who worked so closely in partnership with you for so many years. I’m proud to be part of the reconnaissance gang, I’m very proud to be part of the Intelligence Community. I see in so many of my predecessors on this hall of fame great friends and particularly great mentors. I would just simply highlight two-the great intelligencer Johnny Allen and my lifelong friend and mentor Jim Clapper. Both mean a lot to me and both mean a lot to their friends in the United Kingdom. To join them makes me humble.”
Peach was commissioned into the RAF in 1977, and flew a Canberras in a photographic reconnaissance role prior to three successive tours on Tornado GR1 in the U.K. and Germany. He commanded the IX bomber squadron at RAF Bruggen in Germany from 1994 to 996. Peach’s staff tours include personal staff officer to the Deputy Commander and Commander-in-Chief in RAF Germany as well as executive officer to the Commander of the Second Allied Tactical Air Force and the Director of Defence Studies for RAF.
Peach’s operational service includes: Belize, Hong Kong, and Germany in the 1980s; Deputy Commander of British Forces in Turkey; U.K. Head Military Coordination Centre Zakho in Iraq; Detachment Commander in Saudi Arabia; Commander of British Forces in Italy; Air Commander (Forward) in HQ KFOR in Kosovo; and Deputy Senior British Military Adviser in U.S. HQ Central Command from 2001 to 2002.
He commanded the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington from 2000 to 2003, was Director of General Intelligence Collection with the Ministry of Defence from 2003 to 2006, and served as Chief of Defence Intelligence and Deputy Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 2006 to 2009. Peach held the appointment of Chief of Joint Operations at PJHQ in the U.K. from March 2009 to December 2011 before becoming the first Commander of the U.K. Joint Forces Command from December 2011 to April 2013. He
was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in May 2013.
Peach is a deputy lieutenant of the County of Lincolnshire, trustee of the Imperial War Museum, Honorary Colonel of the Joint Services Signals Unit, and an honorary fellow of Downing College, Cambridge.
“The USGIF Board of Directors recognizes Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach for his engaging leadership and vision,” said The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris, Chairman of the USGIF Board of Directors. “His intimate knowledge and understanding of the expanded role of GEOINT in defense and intelligence has helped us extend our trans-Atlantic partnership. His substantial influence over the last decade will have a lasting positive impact on our mission.”
The Lundahl-Finnie award recipient is nominated and voted on by the USGIF Board of Directors. This distinguished award is named after Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, celebrating their accomplishments-in imagery analysis and mapping, respectively -and their legacy within the GEOINT Community. To learn more about the Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award and its past recipients, visit the Lifetime Achievement Award webpage.