French General to Assume NATO Leadership at Norfolk
In an announcement on Monday, August 6, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) named French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros the next top official of U.S. and Allied military operations in Norfolk, Va., set to replace fellow Frenchman General Stéphane Abrial at the end of September.
General Paloméros, 58, has served as the chief of staff of the French Air Force since 2009, and was nominated for the position of Supreme Allied Commander [of] Transformation (SACT) by French President François Hollande The endorsement was later approved by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s governing body. His assignment comes three years after General Abrial, also a former Air Force Chief of Staff, became the first non-American to be named to the position.
The post Gen. Paloméros will assume was created in 2002 following the reform of NATO’s command structure. As SACT, Gen. Paloméros will serve as one of two strategic commanders at NATO and will be the top commanding officer of its Allied Command Transformation, headquartered on the Virginia coast.
In his new role, General Paloméros will be charged with overseeing the development of military capabilities as well as the needs and future missions of the Atlantic alliance. Gen. Paloméros will also be responsible for managing financial resources for NATO’s transformation programs, an important task at a time in which the notion of “smart defense,” or the maximizing of defense capabilities given shrinking defense budgets, has been adopted by NATO as a “new way of thinking” for the future of the organization’s aims.