Major General Patrick J Donahue II handed command of US Army Africa (USARAF) to Major General Darryl A Williams during a ceremony on Hoekstra Field at Vicenza in Italy.
General David M Rodriguez, Commanding General of US Africa Command (Africom) presided over the change of command ceremony.
“Under General Donahue’s leadership, Army Africa worked with the first Regionally Aligned Force and helped ensure its success,” Rodriguez said.
“When the regionally aligned force is training, exercising or enabling partners, US and African soldiers benefit from enhanced skills, inter-operability and readiness. The regionally aligned force also supports the protection of US personnel and facilities on the continent.”
Rodriguez praised Donahue’s leadership of USARAF.
“Another way the US Army is transforming to meet the challenges of the 21st century security environment is by developing leaders who can work effectively with a broad range of partners,” he said.
“This includes partners from other countries, government agencies and military services. Army Africa has deepened partnerships with African and European militaries, with civilian agencies and with other Service components,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez welcomed Williams as the incoming USARAF commander.
“As Pat and Maureen Donahue depart for Army Forces Command, they pass leadership of the Army Africa team to Darryl and his wife Erin. I know the Williams’ will continue to lead this team superbly. Thank you all for your continued contributions to advancing our nation’s interests in Africa. We will go forward, together,” Rodriguez said.
Williams said he was thankful of the opportunity to serve as USARAF’s commander.
“Gen Rodriguez thank you for having confidence in me and giving me an opportunity to command this great organisation of soldiers and civilians.
“Pat (Donahue), the work you have done with the US Army Africa team has made great changes in Africa. I am honoured and humbled to follow in your footsteps and look forward to the challenge.” Williams said.
“USARAF’s mission on the continent of Africa could not be more relevant than it is today. The team of professionals you have assembled is proving each day how valuable they are to the mission. I look forward to working alongside these fine men and women,” the new force commander said.