US Air Force General Tod Wolters Sworn in as NATO Commander

Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste presents the SHAPE colours to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Tod D. Wolters during the SHAPE change of command ceremony on May 3, 2019. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe/Petty Officer 1st Class William Dodge)
Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste presents the SHAPE colours to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Tod D. Wolters during the SHAPE change of command ceremony on May 3, 2019. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe/Petty Officer 1st Class William Dodge)

BRUSSELS — U.S. Air Force General Tod D. Wolters has been sworn in as the top military officer of the 29-nation NATO military alliance.

The former pilot, who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, became Supreme Allied Commander Europe at a ceremony on Friday at NATO's military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium.

Wolters, who replaces U.S. Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti for a term likely to run two to three years, will also be commander of U.S. forces in Europe.

The NATO post of SACEUR is always held by an American military officer.

NATO's top civilian official, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, says the command is "one of the most challenging and most important military positions in the world." Wolters will oversee NATO's biggest reinforcement of its collective defenses in Eastern Europe since the Cold War.

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