Allied Land Command
|Allied Land Command|
Coat of arms
|Allegiance||North Atlantic Treaty Organization|
|Location||Vecihi Akin Garrison, Şirinyer, İzmir, Turkey|
|Commander||Lieutenant General John C. Thomson III (J.T.)|
|Deputy Commander||Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell|
|Chief of Staff||Major General Erhan Uzun, Turkish Land Forces|
Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) is the standing headquarters for NATO land forces which may be assigned as necessary. The Commander LANDCOM is the prime land warfare advisor to the Alliance. When directed by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, it provides the core of the headquarters responsible for the conduct of land operations. The command is based at Şirinyer (Buca), İzmir in Turkey.
NATO has had a headquarters at Izmir for decades. Initially the organization there was Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (LANDSOUTHEAST), responsible to Allied Forces Southern Europe at Naples. Under this command, with its headquarters in Izmir assisted by the subordinate Thessaloniki Advanced Command Post, were to be most of the Greek and Turkish armies in case of war. LANDSOUTHEAST was commanded by a United States Army lieutenant general:
- Lieutenant General Willard G. Wyman (1952–54)
- Lieutenant General Paul W. Kendall (1954–55)
- Lieutenant General George Windle Read, Jr. (1955–57)
- Lieutenant General Paul D. Harkins (1957–60)
In 1966 the first major change occurred when French military personnel were withdrawn from LANDSOUTHEAST, followed by the Greek withdrawal in 1974. On 30 December 1977, SHAPE and Turkish military authorities announced another change in the command structure of LANDSOUTHEAST, to be effective 1 July 1978. The command billet was to be filled by a Turkish Army four star general with a U.S. Major General as his deputy. U.S. General Sam S. Walker took command in 1977, and On 30 June 1978, General Walker handed over the command to General tr:Vecihi Akın, the first Turkish commander. General Akın held command until 30 August 1979.
Construction of a new headquarters facility in Sirinyer, Izmir was completed in March 1994 and LANDSOUTHEAST moved into the facility in April 1994. In July 1994, two German Army officers were assigned to the command for the first time. The headquarters garrison at Sirinyer was named General Vecihi Akin Garrison in March 1996, after the first Turkish LANDSOUTHEAST Commander. Turkish Land Forces General Hüseyin Kıvrıkoğlu commanded LANDSOUTHEAST from c.1993–1996, followed by Hilmi Özkök from 1996–1998.
After the end of the Cold War, for a period the NATO command in Izmir became Joint Command Southeast. Between 11 August 2004 and 1 June 2013 the headquarters of NATO's Allied Air Component Command in the south, formerly known as AIRSOUTH, was located in İzmir.
In 2013 the 350-person headquarters took over the responsibilities of Allied Force Command Heidelberg in Germany and Allied Force Command Madrid in Spain, which are being deactivated as part of NATO's transformation.
Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, November 2012 - October 2014
Lt. Gen. John W. "Mick" Nicholson, October 2014 - February 2016
Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, June 2016 - June 2018
Lt. Gen. John C. (J.T.) Thomson III, August 2018 – present
LANDCOM was created through the North Atlantic Council to ensure the interoperability of NATO land forces, and placed directly under the Supreme Allied Commander Europe to be the leading voice on land issues within the Alliance. It is responsible for providing a deployable land command for a joint operation. LANDCOM will also carry out the planning, conduct and direction of such land operations. What this means is that if a single corps land operation is underway, that corps will probably report to either JFC Brunssum or JFC Naples. If multiple corps are being directed, LANDCOM will direct them for either JFC Brunssum or Naples.
On 26 March 2015, Lieutenant General Ed Davis, Deputy Commander, Allied Land Command, arrived at Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast (HQ MNC NE) to discuss the ongoing transformation of Multinational Corps Northeast. "The main reason I am here is that Commander LANDCOM has given me the responsibility to lead the evolution of MNC NE and Multinational Division South-East as the two new NATO command organisations which are going to be at the centre of the evolution of the NATO Land Forces," said Lieutenant General Davis.
Romania is leading the process of creating Multinational Division South-East, which will be established in Bucharest, Romania, in 2015–16. The division in Bucharest will be subordinate to the NATO Force Integration Unit also to be established there. The division will reach partial/initial operational capacity in 2016 and Full operational capability (FOC) in 2018.
- "Previous commands". JFC Naples. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Vandiver, John (30 November 2012). "NATO Activates Allied Land Command". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Structure". NATO. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- The Jane's Interview, JDW 17 July 2015
- "Guiding us to High Readiness". Mncne.pl. 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- Interview with Lt Gen Hodges
- de Mihai Diac. "Comandamentele NATO din România încep să prindă contur | Romania Libera". Romanialibera.ro. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- John O. Iatrides, 'Failed Rampart: NATO's Balkan Front,' in Mary Ann Heiss (Editor), S Victor Papacosma (Editor), NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Intrabloc Conflicts, Kent State University Press, 2008
- Dionysios Chourchoulis, The Southern Flank of NATO, 1951–1959: Military Strategy or Political Stabilization (Google eBook), Lexington Books, 18/12/2014
- Yiannis P. Roubatis, Tangled Webs (LANDSOUTHEAST was responsible for the land defence of Greece for a period through an advanced HQ in Thessaloniki)
- Simon Duke, Wolfgang Krieger, U.S. Military Forces in Europe: The Early Years, 1945-1970, Westview Special Studies in International Security, Westview Press, 1993