WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army North Atlantic Treaty Organization Brigade outgoing commander Colonel Karolyn Hooper relinquished command to Col. Jason G. Riley, who assumed command with an official change of command ceremony at Clay Kaserne, Germany, July 12.

The ceremony was hosted by Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, USAREUR commanding general, who led the traditional passing of the colors during the ceremony. The passing of the unit colors represents the transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit from one commander to another.

"The NATO Brigade has done a great job and I am ready to see it continue under the new leadership of Col. Jason Riley," Hodges said.

"The NATO Brigade is an organization that communicates not through words but through actions and presence," said Hodges. "It is the key element of our enduring priority here at U.S. Army Europe to enhance the alliance, the most successful alliance in the history of the world."

The Germany Army Band Kassel played the ceremony, and represented in the formation of troops were Allied Forces North Battalion, from Mons, Belgium, Allied Forces South Battalion, from Naples, Italy, Headquarters and Headquarters Brigade, and the Allied Forces Special Operations Forces Battalio. U.S. Army Europe provided a Color Guard led by NATO Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Ira Russey and the formation was led by Lt. Col. Keith Purvis, NATO Brigade Deputy Commander.

United States Army NATO, now in its 66th year, consists of more than 3,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members. The brigade, currently headquartered at Sembach Kaserne, Germany, is dispersed across 3 continents, 21 countries and 38 locations.

"[The NATO Brigade] sends a clear important message to our allies, that when the call comes, their American teammates are ready to come alongside and go out the door with them," Hooper. Following this assignment, Hooper is retiring from Army service.

Riley joins NATO Brigade from U.S. Central Command where he served as the director of Task Force 2010, where he oversaw the vendor vetting program in support of Operations Resolute Support, Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.