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Breedlove Eyed for SACEUR/EUCOM Leadership: Gen. Philip Breedlove, US Air Forces in Europe commander, is emerging as the leading candidate to become President Obama's new nominee to lead NATO and US forces in Europe, according to press reports and officials speaking on background. A senior Air Force official confirmed to the Daily Report on Thursday that Breedlove is definitely in the running. "I think he's going to be it," said this official, when asked whether Breedlove would be the nominee. Breedlove, who received his commission in 1977, has been USAFE's commander since July 2012. Before that, he was the Air Force's vice chief of staff for a year and a half. Reuters, in a report on Feb 21 (via Newsday), cited a senior NATO official in naming Breedlove as the leading candidate. If Obama does indeed tap him, Breedlove would be the first Air Force general chosen to lead US and NATO forces in Europe since Gen. Joseph Ralston held that position from May 2000 to June 2003. The Senate would have to approve the nomination. Breedlove would succeed Adm. James Stavridis, who has been NATO supreme allied commander for Europe and US European Command boss since summer 2009. The President's need for a new nominee came about on Feb. 19 after Marine Corps Gen. John Allen announced that he would retire from the military and step away from his nomination to take on those leadership roles. (Breedlove's official biography)