Big day for appointments.
First, time for Admiral James Stavridis to move from SOUTCOM to go head up NATO/EUCOM, sez Reuters. If appointed, Stavridis will be the first naval officer to be posted at this command, but, even though that’s a big deal, I, personally, am sorta sad that an Admiral who always had exciting stuff for his grab-bag of leftover/experimental warships to do, is heading off to work, well….Afghanistan. Maybe pirates. Maybe the Black Sea.
But the sea is not going to be his primary focus. Enough said.
Sure, the NATO post is quite the perk–tough, important duty, maybe a stepping-stone to something better–and Stavridis is going to do great, of course, but…I’ll miss his cheerful challenges to orthodoxy at sea. We Navy bloggers are more familiar with the steady stream of interesting Stavridis-inspired projects than most in the media, and now, unless we get somebody with similar ideas, I suspect that SOUTHCOM will recede into obscurity. It’s a shame to see Stavridis leave SOUTHCOM…
But, hey, maybe he’s just the guy we need to open new supply lines into Afghanistan.
Second, a former F-14 pilot, Admiral Robert Willard, is moving from the Pacific Fleet up to lead the US Pacific Command. Feels like a strong, logical move, though I’m sure some Air Force people have a perennial hope that one day, an Air Force General will get to be more than an acting head of PACOM.
(But..Air Force gets a consolation prize–SOUTHCOM–where Lt. General Douglas Fraser gets a chance to put his mark on this new command. Hopefully he’ll be just as innovative as the former commander!)
Best of luck to all!