VICENZA, Italy — A brigadier general on the staff of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is set to become U.S. Army Africa’s next commander, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Joseph P. Harrington, ARRC deputy chief of staff for operations, will succeed Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams in the USARAF post.
Harrington, who the Pentagon said is eligible for promotion, was assigned to the British-led, Gloucestershire-based ARRC in September 2014. The land force headquarters is charged with being deployable worldwide within five to 30 days.
To do that, “first and foremost you build teams, you build a common language and you build relationships,” Harrington told the Gloucestershire Echo in an interview last year. “You’re working to develop exercise and training plans in order to improve the compatibility and confidence of the headquarters.”
“But when my son asks what I do, I just say I go to a lot of meetings,” Harrington told the paper.
Harrington, a New Jersey native who became an Army officer through ROTC while attending college in New Jersey, has previously served as deputy commander of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and executive officer to retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, both when Dempsey was Army chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Harrington has been assigned to European posts for a total of about 10 years during his career. He spent 2006 and 2007 in Iraq.
Jim Sikoryak, a good friend and college roommate for two years, said Harrington is one of the “classiest individuals that you will ever meet,” according to a 2013 story on NorthJersey.com marking Harrington’s promotion to brigadier general.
USARAF did not immediately respond to questions about Williams’ next posting or when the change of command would occur.
Williams took command of USARAF in June 2014, then came to national attention three months later when President Barack Obama tasked him to lead a humanitarian effort to deal with the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. Williams set up a command center in the capital, Monrovia, and oversaw some 3,000 military personnel who built treatment centers and mobile labs and trained health workers.
USARAF’s more usual mission consists of training and exercises with African nations.