Lieutenant General Tim Radford is preparing to take on one of Britain’s most senior military positions in NATO when he becomes the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) next year.
Lt Gen Radford has commanded on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and the Balkans.
He has also been commanding the UK’s leading contribution to the alliance at the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) at Imjin Barracks in Gloucestershire.
NATO’s ARRC is made up of top military minds from more than 20 different countries.
It is charged with leading and delivering NATO’s missions on the ground, always on high readiness to respond to emergencies.
If ARRC is called into an operation, it can call on a pool of soldiers from across the alliance.
Forces News spoke to Lt Gen Radford during his final week in the job.
How does it feel to be approaching such a significant role?
"I'm clearly looking forward to it, and to take over from [General] James Everard, who's done a brilliant job, will be a great honour to be there."
How might Brexit impact on the relationship between the UK and Europe when it comes to what it is doing within NATO?
"Our role and our responsibility for the security of Europe has not changed. The fact that we might be out or in the European Commission, is neither here nor there.
"The important thing is that the security of Europe, and the response of this nation in doing that, remains the same. In many respects, NATO becomes even more important in that light.
"NATO, as successive defence ministers have said, is the cornerstone of our defence policy."
What are your thoughts on how NATO will address the ongoing threats of cyber attacks and hybrid warfare?
"Hybrid warfare is clearly an element which needs to be recognised and needs to be dealt with.
"If you look at some of the transformation that's gone on within NATO, and within the structure and the full structure, the threats that we anticipate are being dealt with in that restructuring and in that transformation.”
What are your reflections in terms of the last few years?
"Over the last three years, we've changed our mindset in the headquarters away from the counterinsurgency operations that we've done in Iraq and Afghanistan into one which looks at how we potentially might have to war fight as part of NATO against another state.
"It's a different mindset and we've developed that and we've spent three years doing that.”
What sort of a DSACEUR would he hope to be?
"Hopefully a good one, I'm taking over as I say from [General] James Everard who's done a fantastic job and has been involved in a lot of the initiatives to transform NATO, so I look forward to building on the work that he's done already, and also to use the experience that I've had here working with the 23 nations."