Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived here today for meetings with senior U.S. officials and to preside over tomorrow’s U.S. European Command change of command.
Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove will succeed Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis during the ceremony. A second change of command ceremony will take place later this week in Brussels, where Breedlove will succeed Stavridis as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe.
“I have known General Breedlove for many years and can tell you that his impressive credentials, professionalism, and dynamic leadership make him an ideal choice,” Stavridis said at the time Breedlove was confirmed by the Senate. “I can think of no better officer to lead the men and women of Allied Command Operations and U.S. European Command over the coming years.”
Breedlove was most recently commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Air Forces Africa and Allied Air Command and director of the Joint Air Power Competence Center. He was responsible for Air Force activities, conducted through 3rd Air Force, in an area of operations that included 105 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East covering more than 19 million square miles.
Stavridis, who became commander of Eucom in 2009, is retiring after 37 years of military service and has been named dean of the Fletcher School of International Affairs at Tufts University.
Eucom was established in 1952 and is responsible for military operations and international military and interagency partnering to enhance transatlantic security and defend the United States forward.