Senate confirms top generals for Europe, Africa

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New top generals for U.S. military forces in Europe and Africa have been confirmed by the Senate.

The Senate confirmed Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters to be commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and Army Gen. Stephen Townsend to be commander of U.S. Africa Command (Africom) by unanimous consent Monday night as part of a batch of a few dozen military promotions.

In his capacity as EUCOM chief, Wolters will also serve as supreme allied commander of NATO.{mosads}

At the time of his nomination in March, NATO said its North Atlantic Council had approved him, pending his Senate confirmation.

Wolters, who is currently the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, during his confirmation addressed a growing rift with NATO ally Turkey over its plans to purchase a Russian missile defense system.

Wolters said Turkey should not get the U.S.-made F-35 fighter jet if it follows through on buying the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

Townsend, meanwhile, said at his confirmation hearing that he has a “pretty significant concern” about the way Russia uses mercenaries in Africa. He also expressed concern about China’s influence on the continent.


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