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Carter Praises 'Soldier-Statesman' Nominee for Eucom

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WASHINGTON, March 11, 2016 — In a Defense Department statement issued today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter congratulated Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti on his nomination by President Barack Obama as the next commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe.

Scaparrotti's “proven leadership over the course of several difficult assignments will serve him well in this critical command," Carter said in the statement. "[He] is one of the U.S. military's most accomplished officers and combat leaders, and it is my hope that the Senate will act quickly on his nomination.

From 2011 to 2012, Scaparrotti commanded the International Security Assistance Force's Joint Command during a period when there were more than 140,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, the statement said. Carter noted that, during the general's tenure, NATO forces made great gains throughout the country, allowing time and space for the Afghan security forces to take over the fight.

After serving in Afghanistan, Scaparrotti returned to the Pentagon as director of the joint staff, leading and coordinating the efforts of military forces around the globe, the statement said

Carter said Scaparrotti's most recent assignment as commander of U.S. Forces Korea "further demonstrated his excellence as a soldier-statesman -- skills he will need as he works closely with our most trusted allies and partners in Europe."

The defense secretary also expressed his thanks to the current Eucom commander, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, praising his dedicated and distinguished service.

"Whether in the cockpit of an F-16 or commanding the military efforts of NATO, General Breedlove has proven his absolute dedication to the security of our people and nation," Carter said in the statement. "On behalf of the Department of Defense, I want to extend my sincere appreciation for his nearly four decades of selfless service to our country."