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Gen. Galvin Will Succeed Rogers as Leader of NATO

February 27, 1987|From Times Wire Services

BRUSSELS — President Reagan's nomination of Gen. John R. Galvin to succeed Gen. Bernard W. Rogers as the top military commander in Europe was accepted Thursday by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Galvin, 57, known for his backing of Reagan's anti-Communist policies and now chief of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama, will take over as the supreme allied commander in Europe when Rogers, 65, steps down at the end of June.

The post is always occupied by an American, appointed by the U.S. President. Galvin will be the ninth allied commander.

The job, based at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, south of Brussels, is open-ended. But its extension has to be confirmed by the U.S. President every two years.

Command Allied Armies

The post would put Galvin in command of armies in the 16-nation Atlantic Alliance, with the exception of France, which does not participate in NATO's military affairs, in the event of an East-West conflict. He also takes command of the 350,000 U.S. forces stationed in Western Europe.

Rogers occupied the post for a record eight years that were often marked by controversy because of his forthright views that sometimes irked both the European allies and the Pentagon alike.

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