22 March 2013
Lieut. Gen. Frederick Ben Hodges, NATO Land Command Commander, said they will have capacity and capability to fulfill the majority of the tasks submitted to them by end of August.
Lieutenant General Frederick Ben Hodges, NATO Land Command Commander who has been assigned to Izmir, explained that his only problem is to “put on” weight.
Lieutenant General Hodges,NATO Land Command Commander in his interview with the AA stated that important progress has been done since the activation ceremony.
“We will have reached our initial operational capability by 30 August 2013. We doubled our personnel capacity from 40 to 82 since we have taken over the command. By the end of the August, this number will be 270 therefore we will have capacity and capability to fulfill the majority of the tasks submitted to us," said Hodges.
Lieutenant General Hodges stated that the member countries understand the missions and efforts ofNATO in the new period and voiced his appreciation about member nations, including Turkey, desire to assign more personnel than they agreed to at the beginning.
Lieutenant General Hodges continued by stating, “We will start our crucial training in September. Air Command have been supporting us during the transition period to Land Command. Furthermore, as our host nation, Turkey has given its full support for the success of this mission by assigning more Turkish Officers. Although Host Nation Support Agreements have been discussed, Turkey is doing its best to provide support to the Command. We have been welcomed and hosted very well and we are optimistic about the future.”
Lieutenant General Hodges expressed his happiness of living in Turkey especially in Izmir , and also stated, “I became accustomed to Izmir in a short time, however my only problem is that I`ve put on weight because of the delicious meals here.”