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NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation Bids Farewell

04 August 2005

Admiral Giambastiani takes post as U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman

Washington -- Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani stepped down as NATO’s first Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) August 1 to take over as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second highest position in the U.S. military.

Giambastiani will take over the post of vice chairman from Marine General Peter Pace.  Pace will assume the post of chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, succeeding Air Force General Richard Myers.  

Credited with making significant contributions to NATO transformation and playing a key role in the development of the NATO Response Force, Giambastiani was presented with the NATO Meritorious Service Medal during an August 1 ceremony aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Norfolk, Virginia.

During the ceremony, Giambastiani also turned over the reins of the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM).

Myers praised Giambastiani, saying “our Armed Forces and those of our allies are better and they are stronger today because of your leadership, professionalism and determination to make our forces better able to meet the reality of today’s and tomorrow’s security environment.”

Myers also took the opportunity to thank the men and women serving in NATO’s transformation command and JFCOM.   “We cannot protect ourselves today and tomorrow with yesterday’s forces or yesterday’s ideas,” he said.  “So we’re adapting to this new environment with the enormous help of the transformational efforts of Allied Command Transformation and Joint Forces Command.”

During the ceremony, Giambastiani said, "We can no longer rely simply on overwhelming force to protect us from the realities we face in today's struggle against extremism.  We must rely on the overmatching power of all of our instruments of national and alliance power - not just military power, but also the diplomatic, informational, and economic instruments of power as well."

The post of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) was created in June 2003, as part of a landmark restructuring of NATO’s military command structure, according to a NATO press release.

One of NATO’s two strategic commanders, the SACT is responsible for promoting the transformation of alliance militaries in order to ensure NATO's forces are trained and structured to meet the challenges of today’s new security environment.

The transcript of Myers’ speech can be found on the Joint Chiefs Web site.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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