New commander for Africom


After two years in charge of US Africa Command (Africom), General Carter F Ham is making way for another Army general.

His replacement is General David M Rodriguez, currently commander of US Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Rodriguez’ appointment, along with that of General Lloyd J Austin III as US Central Command commander, was confirmed by the US Senate on March 7.

Africom, established in 2008 with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is America’s newest geographical combat command. It is responsible for operations, exercises and security co-operation in Africa.

Testifying at his confirmation hearing last month Rodriguez told the Senate Armed Services Committee he would work closely with it, as well as all joint, inter-agency, inter-governmental and multi-national partners “to address the challenges we face and the opportunities to increase stability on this strategically important continent”.

He leaves US Army Forces Command as its 19th commander and has commanded at every level. Prior to his posting to Fort Bragg he was International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan.

Additional commands include the 82nd Airborne Division; Second Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division and Second Battalion, 502 Infantry Regiment and 101 Airborne Division (Air Assault). He also commanded companies in First Armoured Division, 75 Ranger Regiment and led a platoon in the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanised).

His combat experience includes Operation Just Cause, Desert Shield and Desert Storm as well as tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Rodriguez holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.

Ham retires this year.