VICENZA, Italy — Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue took command of U.S. Army Africa on Friday, taking over from Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg, who oversaw the unit’s transformation from a task force command.
“The exuberance which Pat exhibited upon notification that he would command in Vicenza gives me all the confidence that I need to know that he is happy to be here and ready to lead the great soldiers of USARAF,” Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, said during remarks at the change-of-command ceremony.
Donahue, who led the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2005-2006, recalled that it was under the wing of Southern European Task Force, SETAF, now U.S. Army Africa.
“I know USARAF will be ready again to command and control a (joint task force) if called to do so in some yet unforeseen crisis,” Donahue said.
Ham praised Hogg’s leadership as the unit transformed from “a tactical, contingency-focused headquarters to a regionally focused theater Army headquarters.”
Ham also noted that Hogg had sponsored two African Land Forces summits — the second held this summer in Uganda – that brought together commanders across Africa to discuss issues.
“By co-hosting the summit in Africa, Dave sent the signal that African nations can and do address their challenges and that the United States’ best role is often one of a facilitator,” Ham said.
Hogg, who has been nominated for this third star and will serve as the U.S. representative on the NATO Military Commitee in Belgium, thanked the soldiers and civilians in his command and delivered a few minutes of his speech in Italian. Three Italian general officers attended the ceremony, as did Achille Variati, the mayor of Vicenza, and numerous other dignitaries.
Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, Donahue’s new boss under the U.S. Army Europe chain of command, was also present.