Prague/Brussels, June 29 (CTK) – British Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach replaced Czech General Petr Pavel as chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels on Friday, Czech Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek told CTK.

Pavel will work in Brussels until July 15 and then he will return to Prague to the Defence Ministry. He will leave the military in November.

Chairman of the Military Committee is the supreme military authority of NATO and the main military aide to its secretary general.

Pavel, 57, headed the Military Committee, NATO’s second highest body, from June 2015. He is the first representative from East Europe who occupied the post. In 2012-15, he was Czech chief-of-staff.

In 2002-07, he was a member of the Czech army’s top command as a specialised forces commander, deputy commander of joint forces and deputy director of a Defence Ministry’s department. He was the Czech deputy representative to the EU in Brussels (2007-09) and Czech representative at in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium (2010-11). In 2011-12 he was Czech deputy chief-of-staff.

In the early 1990s, Pavel drew attention as a member of the UNPROFOR mission in Croatia, when he liberated a group of French soldiers locked between two fighting parties. For his achievement he was presented with high French and Czech awards

When asked about his future, he said he would like to be on his own for some time after many years spent in an organised structure. He told the Czech military journal A Report that he would like to become part of neither the defence industry nor politics.