Breedlove Takes Command of EUCOM

USAF Gen. Philip Breedlove assumed command of EUCOM from retiring Adm. James Stavridis

From Claudette Roulo, American Forces Press Service: Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove took command of U.S. European Command here today during a ceremony at the command’s headquarters with Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter presiding.

Breedlove succeeds Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, the first sailor to hold the command. Stavridis is retiring following a 37-year career and has been named dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Stavridis also will relinquish his NATO position as Supreme Allied Commander Europe to Breedlove in a ceremony scheduled for later this week.

Throughout his career, Stavridis has been one of the “most influential, creative, and forward-thinking leaders of his generation,” Carter said at today’s change of command ceremony. . . . 

Carter harkened back to the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, noting Eisenhower once said, ‘The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law and the fostering of justice in all the world. . . .’”

Noting the extensive commercial and strategic ties between the U.S. and Europe, Stavridis said European values constituted the most important cargo that made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

“[They] came from the Enlightenment — democracy, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of education — those are the values we share with this incredible pool of partners,” the admiral said. “For all of those reasons … we will always be joined with Europe.”

Breedlove was most recently commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Air Forces Africa and Allied Air Command and director of the Joint Air Power Competence Center. He was responsible for Air Force activities, conducted through 3rd Air Force, in an area of operations that included 105 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East covering more than 19 million square miles. . . .

In Europe, joint war fighting is now the rule, rather than the exception, Breedlove said.

“A well-trained, equipped and synchronized force is far better than the sum of its parts,” he said. “The U.S.-Eucom team demonstrates that by working together … we achieve huge success on behalf of our alliance and our respective nations and their citizens.”  (photo: MC2 (SW) Patrick Grieco/EUCOM)

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