111121cos300Allied Command Transformation (ACT) said a fond farewell to Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Robert Cooling at the change of responsibility ceremony today, welcoming in his place Royal Navy Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt.

In his final speech as Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Cooling, who has held the post since July 2009, paid tribute to his colleagues at ACT, his family and host nation.

“My first reflection is to thank all of my colleagues for a most exciting, invigorating and rewarding twenty eight months as Chief of Staff,”

“I have simply loved the interaction with all of you, I have marvelled at your capacity for new challenges and I’ve taken enormous pride in your many successes. You and your immediate predecessors have put ACT firmly in the vanguard of Alliance transformation and I can see nothing other than continued success in the future” Cooling said.

Following the signing over, newly appointed Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt told the headquarters it was “an enormous honour and a privilege to succeed such an outstanding officer as Admiral Cooling and to take on the challenge of being the driving force behind the Transformation of NATO, making it fit to face the myriad of challenges that we face today and undoubtedly face throughout the rest of the century.”

“I’m thrilled at the prospect of being part of such a gifted team and such an exciting programme of challenges ahead” he added.

Photo: General Abrial (middle), Vice Admiral Cooling (left) and Vice Admiral Johnstone-Burt (right)
during the Chief of Staff Change of Responsibility ceremony