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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 373-02
July 19, 2002

NATO APPOINTS GENERAL JONES TO BE SACEUR

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization today appointed Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, to succeed Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, U.S. Air Force, as supreme allied commander, Europe.

In response to a letter from the president, the secretary general of the NATO, who is chairman of the Defense Planning Committee, asked the member governments to agree to release Ralston and to approve the nomination of Jones.

The Committee agreed with great regret to release Ralston from his assignment as supreme allied commander, Europe. They expressed to Ralston, in the name of NATO governments, lasting gratitude for his distinguished service.

The Committee asked the president to nominate a U.S. officer for appointment as supreme allied commander, Europe. In response to this request, the president nominated Jones to succeed Ralston with the same powers and functions.

The president has also nominated Jones for assignment as commander, U.S. European Command. Jones' nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

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