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Gen. Martin Dempsey In Germany For Africom Change Of Command

4/4/2013 8:17 PM ET

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, has arrived in Germany for meetings with U.S. Africa Command senior leaders and to preside over Friday's Africom change of command, the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday.

On Friday, Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez will succeed Army Gen. Carter F. Ham as the commander of U.S. Africa Command. The appointment of Gen. Rodriguez to the post was confirmed by the US Senate last month. His confirmation hearing was on February 14.

Rodriguez' most recent command was the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. His responsibilities included manning, equipping and training 265,000 active-component soldiers. He also held training and readiness oversight for 560,000 Army reservists and National Guardsmen.

Ham, who became commander of Africom in 2011, is retiring after 39 years of service, including two years as an enlisted infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Africom was formally established in 2007 with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. It is the US military's newest geographical combatant command. It is responsible to the secretary of defense for military relations with African nations, the African Union and African regional security organizations.

"In the five years since it was established, Africom has made a real difference in the region -- from strengthening partnerships among nations to weakening extremist organizations," Gen. Dempsey was quoted as saying in the Pentagon press release.

by RTT Staff Writer

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