Written by ACO PAO Monday, 13 May 2013 08:45
MONS, Belgium — General Philip M. Breedlove became NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), assuming command of Allied Command Operations from outgoing SACEUR, Admiral James Stavridis on May 13th, 2013.
The change of command, presided over by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, marks only the third time in NATO history that an Air Force General assumes the post since the position was established in 1951 when General Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first SACEUR.
Upon welcoming General Breedlove to assume his responsibilities at a critical time, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen noted, "You will quickly realise that the local community is very proud of its association with SHAPE. And I would like to thank Belgium and the people of Mons, for the hospitality and friendship they provide to all the NATO staff who work here".
General Breedlove is the seventeenth American officer to hold the prestigious post.
"As I take command today, I am humbled by the great company I am joining, intrigued by the challenges we will face together, and inspired by the recent achievements of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from across this incredible Alliance," said General Breedlove.
"Within the borders of our Alliance we enjoy unprecedented levels of stability, but beyond our frontiers there is uncertainty and insecurity," he continued. "As SACEUR my first and enduring priority will be to ensure that NATO remains vigilant and prepared to meet the challenges and threats of the future with agile, capable, and interoperable military forces."
"My wife Cindy and I look forward to serving alongside the men and women of NATO, enjoying life and culture in Belgium, and establishing lasting friendships with colleagues from all of our Allies, partners, and friends," he said.
The SACEUR is responsible for the overall direction and conduct of military operations for NATO. The position is normally held by a United States Flag or General officer, who also serves as Commander U.S. European Command. His command is exercised from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) near Mons, Belgium.