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NATO Transfer of command is on track

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Allied Joint Forces Command Naples

March 29, 2011
Rel# OUP0003

Press Release

NAPLES, Italy – Today, LGen. Charles Bouchard, NATO’s commander for Operation Unified Protector, met with partners and allies at the Naples-based headquarters and confirmed that NATO’s transition to command is on track.

“NATO will soon take command of all operations,” said Bouchard. “NATO Allies are transferring assets as we speak … we are on track.”

“Let there be no doubt,” said Bouchard, “we are in the process of completing the handover in the coming days,” added the commander.

This is an unprecedented transition of command in an extraordinarily short period of time, Bouchard told the group.

“We are operating at a powerful tempo,” Bouchard said. “We are surging with both speed and agility."

He went on to say that the men and women of Operation Unified Protector are “already showing their professionalism and their precision.”

“I also extend my gratitude to the men and women of the coalition who are assisting us in this complex transition,” said Bouchard.

“Our goal is to help protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack,” Bouchard reminded a group. “Do not mistake that aspect of the mission.”

Bouchard went on to say that this is a very significant step, which proves NATO's capability to take decisive action and work quickly and cooperatively to respond. He also cited NATO leadership when he said, “Our (political) leaders have made it clear that the outrageous violence against the people of Libya must stop.”

“In the past week, we have put together a complete package of operations -- surface vessels, submarines and aircraft -- in support of the United Nations Resolution by sea and by air,” said Bouchard. “We are already enforcing the arms embargo and the No Fly Zone… (and) with this week’s decision, we are going to help protect the Libyan people more directly.”

“We will continue to act in close coordination with our international and regional partners to protect the people of Libya,” he said.

On March 28, Bouchard officially announced the NATO-Operations in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

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