It took place today at Allied Joint Forces Command of Naples with headquarters in Lago Patria, Naples, 32ma change of command ceremony.
Admiral Stuart B. Munsch of the United States Navy assumed command of JFC Naples taking over from Admiral Robert P. Burke. Admiral Munsch will hold one of the most important American military roles in Europe as, in addition to NATO's joint command, he will also head the US Naval Forces stationed in Europe and Africa.
The ceremony was presided over by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, General Tod D. Wolters.
General Wolters welcomed Admiral Munsch to NATO while acknowledging the excellent work done by the outgoing commander, Admiral Burke.
"JFC Naples - said General Wolters - it is the command most burdened with arduous tasks among all ”.
In about two years of command, Admiral Burke found himself facing the pandemic from Covid 19, the emergency of Afghan refugees and the initial stages of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Admiral Burke's command action focused on four key areas: the Rapid Reaction Force of NATO, the NATO Mission in Iraq, the operationalization of the interventions of deterrence and defense of the Euro-Atlantic Area and a growing cooperation in the south.
The command also remained focused on the Western Balkans by holding operational control of four assistance missions in that region.
Il JFC Naples it is also the Task Force joint forces entrusted with the strengthening of NATO along the south-eastern flank and, in particular, in Romania and Bulgaria.
During his time in command, Admiral Burke and JFC Naples led the Steadfast Defender 2021, the largest exercise conducted by NATO in the year 2021.
Commenting on his own term of command of the JFC Naples Admiral Burke said: “In my two years in command of JFC Naples, we have faced an unprecedented level of activity in the Euro-Atlantic area that has culminated in the largest gathering of military forces Europe has ever witnessed since the end of the Cold War and which is configured today as the largest conflict ever to occur in Europe since the end of the Second World War ".
“At this juncture, ours has been to dissuade Russia from attacking NATO and to defend the Alliance if necessary. A simple but not easy task " concluded Admiral Burke.
Admiral Munsch previously held the role of Director of Joint Task Development for the U.S. Navy beginning in 2020
In accepting the command, Admiral Munsch said: "I look forward to working with you to dissuade, defend and promote our interoperability and strengthen our alliance."