The U.S. Army has finalized the plan to consolidate the U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa Commands into a single entity. The reorganization has been on the Army’s books for months but was confirmed in a release from the U.S. Army on Friday. 

The Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, said that the consolidation “enhances global and regional readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.” 

The new command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa or USAREUR-AF, will be headed by the freshly promoted General Christopher G. Cavoli. General Cavoli was nominated for promotion earlier this year and was confirmed by the Senate on September 30. He pinned on his fourth star in early October. 

In an interview with Defense News in early October, McCarthy confirmed that General Cavoli’s promotion was an important step in the command restructure. 

“That’s why we advocated and pushed hard and got that done because, in his capacity, as U.S. Army Europe commander, he is the joint force land component commander, and in that capacity, if war breaks out on the continent, this is the officer leading all of those NATO elements under that umbrella,” McCarthy said.

General Cavoli has commanded Army Europe since January 2018.

The upgrade of the new command to a four-star billet suggests a brisk refocusing on the strategic importance of Europe. 

Retired Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges told Defense News that “restoring the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe to the rank of general, with four stars, is an important signal to our allies of American commitment and how important Europe is in our strategic thinking.”