In a ceremony attended by all Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM) staff, General Lebert was applauded for his leadership and dedication to the NATO mission. Arriving in October 2021, as Chief of Staff Allied Air Command, he oversaw a multinational headquarters with staff from 25 of the 30 NATO Allies that provides Air and Space Power to the NATO Alliance. In his career, General Lebert served as a C-160 and C-130 pilot and qualified flying instructor. General Lebert is an experienced NATO officer. Prior to his assignment to AIRCOM, he was the Commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force in Geilenkirchen, Germany.
Chief of Staff work is hard and consists of long nights and early mornings
General James B. Hecker, Commander, Allied Air Command headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany thanked outgoing Chief of Staff for his dedicated time at AIRCOM saying: "Chief of Staff work is hard and consists of long nights and early mornings." He thanked General Lebert for his smooth and excellent coordination of staff work within the headquarters with its more than 600 military and civilian personnel.
Chief of Staff (COS) of Allied Air Command, German Air Force Major General Jörg Lebert (right), handed over to Italian Air Force Major General Gianluca Ercolani. Photo: Arnaud Chamberlin
"It has been a relatively short time as the Chief of Staff of Allied Air Command but a great honour, to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 30 NATO members and partner nations," Major General Jörg Lebert said. "It has been a very rewarding tour, both professionally and personally," he added.
General Lebert will retire at the end of July 2022.
General Hecker then welcomed the incoming Chief of Staff, Major General Gianluca Ercolani. In his previous position at Poggio Renatico, Italy, he served as the Deputy Commander of the Italian Air Force's Air and Space Operations Command and Commander of its Operations Department. With more than 30 years' experience as an Air Force Officer, he has spent the greatest part of his career in positions with direct responsibility for the development of Defence policy or capability. General Ercolani has commanded at Squadron, Group, Wing and Department level, and served as a Commander in different appointments. He holds a postgraduate degree in aeronautical sciences and a master in international military strategic studies.