The president of the United States of America, in a letter to the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), asked the NATO member governments to agree to release Gen. William F. Kernan, as supreme allied commander, Atlantic (SACLANT).
The committee agreed with great regret to release Gen. Kernan from his assignment as supreme allied commander, Atlantic. They expressed to Gen. Kernan, in the name of NATO governments, lasting gratitude for his distinguished service.
In light of the ongoing review of the NATO command structure, the United States proposed that in the interim, after Oct. 1, 2002, when the new U.S. Unified Command Plan goes into effect, the alliance keep the SACLANT position unfilled pending completion of the NATO command structure review.
However the SACLANT position is resolved within the alliance, Washington is prepared to establish a definitive link between NATO and Joint Forces Command for transformation.
Gen. Kernan will depart his command in October 2002. The deputy SACLANT will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations on an interim basis.