Europe

NATO alliance getting new supreme commander

  • FILE - in this April 26, 2014 file photo, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti speaks at the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea. The Senate confirmed Army Scaparrotti to be the top American commander in Europe. The NATO alliance this week is getting a new supreme commander, a former top-ranking U.S. military officer in Korea hailed Tuesday May 3, 2016, by Defense Secretary Ash Carter as a proven warrior-diplomat and “a soldiers’ general.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - in this April 26, 2014 file photo, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti speaks at the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea. The Senate confirmed Army Scaparrotti to be the top American commander in Europe. The NATO alliance this week is getting a new supreme commander, a former top-ranking U.S. military officer in Korea hailed Tuesday May 3, 2016, by Defense Secretary Ash Carter as a proven warrior-diplomat and “a soldiers’ general.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, new commanding officer of US and NATO troops in Europe, looks on during the change in command ceremony at the United States European Command (EUCOM), in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

    US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, new commanding officer of US and NATO troops in Europe, looks on during the change in command ceremony at the United States European Command (EUCOM), in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, new commanding officer of US and NATO troops in Europe, speaks during the change in command at the United States European Command (EUCOM), in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

    US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, new commanding officer of US and NATO troops in Europe, speaks during the change in command at the United States European Command (EUCOM), in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The NATO alliance is getting a new supreme commander this week, a former top-ranking U.S. military officer in Korea who has been described by Defense Secretary Ash Carter as a proven warrior-diplomat and "a soldiers' general."

U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti was installed Tuesday as head of U.S. European Command, and will become NATO's supreme allied commander Europe following a separate ceremony Wednesday at alliance military headquarters in southern Belgium.

Scaparrotti, 60, will become the 18th U.S. officer to hold the post since Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first NATO SACEUR in 1951. The commander is responsible for the overall direction and conduct of global military operations for the 28-nation NATO alliance, which now faces multiple security challenges ranging from a resurgent Russia to armed Islamic extremism.