Auf wiedersehen and Benvenuto - Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation passes responsibility to his successor.

Allied Command Transformation is proud to welcome General Paolo Ruggiero as the new Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. General Ruggiero assumed responsibility at a ceremony held at Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, NATO’s home in North America. He succeeds Admiral Manfred Nielson.

The Ceremony was hosted by General Lanata, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and the attendees included Ms Elaine Luria, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr Kenneth Cooper Alexander, the Mayor of the City of Norfolk, Lieutenant General Hans-Werner Wierman, Director General of the International Military Staff and Brigadier General Wolfgang Wien, the NATO Deputy Military Representative for Germany. Also in attendance were Senior Commanders form U.S. Forces including Lieutenant General Robert Hedelund, Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Vice Admiral Bruce Lindsey, Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

In his speech, General Lanata said a fond farewell to Admiral Nielson and welcomed General Ruggiero to the Headquarters. “It is with mixed feelings that we have arrived at one of the Major milestones of our Command this year, with the handover of the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander’s position between two particularly distinguished officers from Germany and Italy.”

In highlighting NATO’s recognition of Allied Command Transformation as a leading agent and a force for progress in the area of capability development, General Lanata emphasised the importance of the role that the Deputy Commander plays in the headquarters. Thanking Admiral Nielsen for his support he said “I, and the entire staff of this headquarters, recognise in you a true leader. One able to look into the future, to see what the young men and women who serve in uniform, and the Alliance as a whole will need to face the challenges of the future.”

In welcoming General Ruggiero, he said “Your rich experience, your competences and abilities, will be useful in our Warfare Development journey.” General Ruggiero previously served as the Deputy Commander Allied Land Command in Izmir, Türkiye.

Promoted to Brigadier General in 2005, General Ruggiero commanded the 132nd "Ariete” Armoured Brigade. His other flag officer assignments were as Commander of the Field Artillery Headquarters and as Commander of the Army Command for Education, Training and School of Applied Military studies in Turin.

Having been not only a Flag Officer in the National Armed Forces of Italy but also a Senior Commander in the NATO force structure and involved in NATO operations, General Ruggiero brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and the opportunities and challenges that Allied Command Transformation will present in achieving its aim of ‘Improving today, Shaping tomorrow, Bridging the two’.

General Ruggiero said "I am honoured to be the new Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and I will continue to support Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in any capacity to fulfil the Headquarter’s role as warfare development command. My focus is the necessary cooperation with partners and entities, in and outside NATO, to prepare the Alliance for the future challenges. Moreover, I believe new technologies and the cooperation with supranational organisations are the key to face the challenges in todays and future security environment for the benefit of the Alliance. Finally, I will try to take advantage from my experiences, especially from the ones related to NATO operations and in LANDCOM."

He went on to say “I am proud to serve alongside the men and women of Allied Command Transformation, all together, as a team we will continue to contribute to peace and security in the world."