US Army Gen. Bantz Craddock, formerly head of the US military command responsible for Guantanamo Bay, today takes over as Nato’s supreme allied commander in Europe.
As Nato’s top operational commander, Craddock will have overall responsibility for the 31,800 allied troops in Afghanistan and the 16,000 strong peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
Craddock, 57, replaces retiring US Marine Gen. James Jones at a ceremony at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in southern Belgium.
He will also serve as head of the US European Command, where he took over from Jones on Monday.
After serving as senior military assistant to outgoing US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Craddock became commander of US Southern Command in November 2004.
That command is responsible for the controversial detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as US military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.