On the 24 July 2020, Air Commodore Hugh Smith took over as the Deputy Director EAG, replacing his predecessor Brigadier General Stefan Scheibl who had held the post since July 2018. Due to COVID-19 regulations, only a small-scale Handover Ceremony was able to take place in the EAG Building at RAF High Wycombe in the UK, with only some of the EAG Permanent Staff able to attend. Following the signing of Handover Certificates, in his leaving speech Brigadier General Scheibl thanked the Permanent Staff for their hard work and support during his tenure. He highlighted the impact of Coronavirus on the EAG calendar, and the resultant cancellation of meetings, workshops and exercises, highlighting that a key part of his handover had been focussed on the need to regain momentum as nations recover from the pandemic.
In his opening address, Air Commodore Smith, who has a fast jet background and extensive experience of air operations in the Royal Air Force, expressed his appreciation to Brigadier General Scheibl for his hard work, and comprehensive handover, saying that he looked forward to working with the EAG Air Forces and the Permanent Staff to face the challenges ahead. In accordance with EAG protocol, Air Commodore Smith is scheduled to hold the position of Deputy Director for the next two years. Brigadier General Scheibl now returns to Germany, to assume his next job as Commander of the German Air Force Officer School, in Fürstenfeldbruck.