Biden taps new commander of US forces in Europe

AP/Mosa'ab Elshamy
General Christopher Cavoli

President Biden is nominating Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli to serve as the new head of U.S. European Command, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday.  

The nomination of Cavoli, the current commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags into its third month.

If confirmed, he will also take the helm as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), where he will oversee the planning and execution of the alliance’s operations.

NATO separately announced on Tuesday that it has approved Cavoli’s nomination to the post, and he will take command in the summer pending Senate confirmation.  

Cavoli’s expected nomination was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in April.

He would replace Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the current commander of U.S. European Command and SACEUR, who assumed duties in May 2019.

Washington sent tens of thousands of troops to Eastern Europe prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, largely to reassure NATO allies. After Russia began its invasion on Feb. 24, NATO for the first time activated its NATO Response Force, its multinational force of around 40,000 personnel that could deploy on short notice.

The military also established a control center at U.S. European Command in March to coordinate the delivery of weapons from the U.S. and its allies to Ukraine.  

Cavoli has been the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa since 2020, according to his biography.  He’s served in various roles in Asia, the U.S. and Europe, though his new role will allow him to leverage is experience in Europe.

He has also served as the director for Russia on the Joint Staff and was a foreign area officer whose regional focus was on Eurasia.

Tags Biden European Command Lloyd Austin pentagon Tod Wolters US forces
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