On September 17, the Atlantic Council organized a farewell dinner for General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.

As General Abrial is scheduled to turn over his command of Allied Command Transformation to his replacement in early October, this dinner provided his Washington friends and partners with an opportunity to say farewell. General Abrial thanked the United States for the welcoming and supportive working environment he experienced and presented his thoughts on the future of NATO and ACT in the context of the Chicago Summit and the age of austerity across the transatlantic community.

General Abrial took up his current command in 2009 as the first non-US commander of Allied Command Transformation as a result of historic negotiations to normalize France’s relationship in NATO. Since then, he has led one of NATO’s strategic commands through a momentous period that has included continued combat in Afghanistan, the Libya operation, and defense austerity brought on by the financial crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. Before taking up his duties as SACT he served as the Chief of the French Air Force. He has also served at senior levels in the private offices of the French Prime Minister and President, and is a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

At the Atlantic Council’s 2010 Annual Awards Dinner, the Council honored General Abrial for his distinguished military leadership at a critical time as France returned to NATO’s integrated military command as the Alliance surged forces to stabilize Afghanistan.