The commander-in-chief of the NATO Joint forces in Europe was the US air force, General Todd Walters. The official ceremony of transfer of authority from the outgoing commander Curtis Scaparrotti took place on Friday at the Headquarters of the United armed forces of NATO in Mons, in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The ceremony traditionally began with a prayer – an appeal to God in English and French to bless the new commander and his family and to grant the Alliance strength and success.
During the ceremony, General Wolters was given to the flag of the United NATO forces, and their wives by Walters, Scaparrotti handed flowers. In addition, Stoltenberg handed Scaparrotti NATO medal “For distinguished service.”
“As General Eisenhower, the first commander of NATO forces said, we are concerned not only with the protection of people but also with the protection of our freedoms. For 70 years, the Alliance has defended freedom, democracy and the rule of law. We protect our values and the human right to live our lives. NATO successfully opposed the Soviet Union, stopped the brutal wars in the Balkans, brought victory over al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and contributed to the spread of democracy in the world,” Stoltenberg said.
Curtis Scaparrotti held the position of commander-in-chief of the Joint armed forces of NATO in Europe from March 11, 2016, to May 3, 2019.
General Tod Wolters previously served as commander of the US air force in Europe and Africa, participated in the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.