Trump nominates new NATO commander

Nomination will go to Senate for confirmation

Dept. of Defense via Getty Images

In this handout provided by the Department of Defense, Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Trump, speaks with Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, before departing Ramstein Air Base on April 3,…

(CNN) - President Donald Trump has nominated US Air Force General Tod Wolters to lead US European Command and be the top general overseeing NATO operations on the continent.

NATO's North Atlantic Council has also agreed to appoint Wolters as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, according to a statement issued by NATO.

His nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

Wolters is currently serving as the commander of US Air Forces in Europe and US Air Forces Africa, a post he has held since 2016, overseeing air operations on both continents.

A graduate of the Air Force Academy and former F-15 pilot, Wolters has had numerous operational deployments during the first Gulf War and post 9/11 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He will replace US Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who has held the job since 2016. The post has always been held by a US officer.

He will only be the fourth Air Force officer to hold the post of NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, a post first held by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Trump has long been critical of the 29-member military alliance, blasting allies for not spending enough on defense.

However despite these criticisms the US has increased its military presence in Europe during the Trump administration as the US and Europe seek to counter Russia following Moscow's 2014 intervention in Ukraine.

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