Professionally, I very much wanted to come to this command because I thought there was important work to do here," Cripwell said. "As the NATO Headquarters responsible for the land domain, being the Deputy Commander allowed me to have a view on what operating in the land domain should look like in the future. I felt I had something to say, and I thought I had something to offer.
(Italian Army Lt. Gen. Nicola Zanelli, incoming LANDCOM Deputy Commander (left), presents Lt. Gen. Richard Cripwell with historical placard on his final day at the headquarters, 25 February 2022, in Izmir, Turkey)
Lt. Gen. Cripwell's three years at LANDCOM were ones of notable change for the headquarters; with the mission of operating as a Theater Land Command (TLC) transforming into MC-LCC, Multi-Corps Land Component Command. "We're carrying on with that; taking the best parts of TLC, and becoming an increasingly operational headquarters. It's hard work, it's certainly important work, and I think it is what this headquarters should be wanting to do."
Another initiative that emerged during Cripwell's tenure is the concept for the Deterrence and Defense of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA), which is a key component of the NATO 2030 initiative. "It is, to me, enormously logical and consequential for LANDCOM in particular," Cripwell said. "It gives us a framework and a very clear purpose - crystal clear - on how we should be organizing ourselves to deliver DDA."
An initiative that Cripwell personally spearheaded was the launch of the Partner Land Commanders' Conference (PLCC), a multi-day summit for land force commanders to convene and discuss land domain challenges and seek opportunities for further collaboration. "Our first iteration was a learning experience, and we had almost catastrophic success with the second one; so many nations wanted to be a part of it," Cripwell said. "NATO has a very important and powerful partnership network, and we needed to engage that further. It isn't all about NATO nations teaching partner nations, it's about helping partner nations to work with us. We have a great deal to learn from our partners."
(Lt. Gen. Richard Cripwell hosting the 2nd Partner Land Commanders' Conference in Izmir, Turkey on 5 October, 2021)
Lt. Gen. Cripwell, a Royal Engineer, has served 40 years in the British Army, and will continue his service as the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey.
"I've said this for many years: it's not where you go, it's who you do it with. Every nation's army is a people business. We have a great team here; it's more ambitious, more confident. The only thing I would say now is to carry on, do your best, and try to make a difference."
(Lt. Gen. Richard Cripwell says goodbye to LANDCOM's Chief of Staff outside of the LANDCOM Headquarters, 25 February, 2022, in Izmir, Turkey)