IZMIR, Turkey – Italian Army Lt. Gen. Paolo Ruggiero passed the mantle of responsibility as NATO's Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) Deputy Commander to British Army Lt. Gen. Richard Cripwell in a ceremony held today in front of family, friends and Soldiers at the LANDCOM Headquarters. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John Thomson, the LANDCOM Commander, presided over the ceremony.
"It was truly an honour to temporarily command the Headquarters on two occasions," said Ruggiero. "I would like to thank all those in the Command Group with whom I had the pleasure to work. I would also like to recognize and thank our host nation for their continued and much appreciated support, both to the headquarters and to our families living in this beautiful city of Izmir. I would like to wish my successor all the best for his assignment as the fourth Deputy Commander of Allied Land Command. Teşekkür ederim."
During his speech, Thomson thanked Lt. Gen. and Holly Ruggiero for their leadership to LANDCOM and for their excellent work in the local community. Ruggiero "superbly served as our Deputy Commander for the past three years, which is 50 percent of LANDCOM's lifespan," said Thomson. His "tenure included five Land Component Corps Commander Conferences, multiple major NATO exercises such as TRIDENT JAVELIN and TRIDENT JUNCTURE, several Combat Readiness Evaluations…[and] his travels took him from the high north to northern Africa, and from the Atlantic to the Black Sea."
The new deputy commander, Lt. Gen. Cripwell, is coming from Resolute Support Mission at Kabul, Afghanistan, where he served as the Deputy Commander.
Lt. Gen. Ruggiero returns to Italy for his next assignment.