The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has appointed Army Lt. Gen. William F. Kernan to succeed Navy Adm. Harold W. Gehman, Jr., as Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic.
In a letter from the president of the United States of America to the Secretary General of NATO, who is chairman of the Defense Planning Committee, the President asked member governments to agree to release Gehman and to approve his nomination of Kernan as Gehman's successor.
The committee agreed with great regret to release Gehman from his assignment as Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic. They expressed to Gehman, in the name of NATO governments, lasting gratitude for his distinguished service.
In this regard, the President of the United States was asked to nominate an officer of the United States for appointment as Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, to succeed Gehman. In response to this request, the president of the United States informed the committee of his nomination of Kernan for consideration as successor to Gehman with the same powers and functions, and of his intention to appoint him to the grade of general with the advice and consent of the Senate while serving in that position.
Kernan is currently Commanding General of XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.
In addition to the NATO position, Kernan will be assigned as Commander in Chief, United States Joint Forces Command.
The transfer of commands will take place in September 2000.