STUTTGART, Germany — The future of military leadership in Europe became clearer this week when two Stuttgart-based admirals were nominated for promotions.

Rear Adm. Richard K. Gallagher has been picked to become deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, and Rear Adm. Robert T. Moeller was chosen to lead military operations at the new Africa Command, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The two officers would be promoted to vice admiral as part of their appointments, both of which need to be approved by the Senate.

Gallagher would replace Gen. William E. Ward, who has been nominated to become commander of the U.S. military’s new combatant command, Africa Command.

The command, known as AFRICOM, is headquartered in Stutt- gart. It is scheduled to activate on Oct. 1, when it would start directing at least some of the U.S. military’s activity in Africa.

For one year, AFRICOM is expected to remain a subordinate command under the European Command. The African command is scheduled to become fully operational in October 2008, at which time it would become its own combatant command and break away from the European Command, with Ward reporting directly to the secretary of Defense.

Moeller is director of the AFRICOM Transition Team, which in February began designing the command and hiring people to work there. His new title would be deputy to the commander for military operations.

Moeller would oversee planning and preparing the military’s efforts on the continent toward humanitarian relief actions, noncombatant evacuations, counterterrorism operations, military-to-military training and security assistance and, if necessary, warfare.

Gallagher is director of the European Command’s Plans and Operations Center.

EUCOM oversees the U.S. military’s activities in Europe, Israel, Russia and about two-thirds of the African continent.

Gallagher would replace Ward, the current EUCOM deputy commander, as the day-to-day leader of the command. EUCOM’s top officer, Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, generally spends the bulk of his time addressing his other job as commander of NATO’s military arm, the Mons, Belgium-based Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

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