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Deputy commanding general arrives on Fort Bragg in May

By Drew Brooks | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 7, 2016

Fort Bragg will welcome a new deputy commanding general later this year.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer is expected to take the No. 2 job in the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg in mid to late May, according to officials.

The new assignment for Stammer was announced late last month by the Pentagon.

He will replace Maj. Gen. Jefforey A. Smith, who has been deputy commander of the nation's contingency corps since late 2014.

Officials have not released what Smith's next job will be.

Stammer was most recently commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, in Djibouti.

The task force supports partner nation military operations within East Africa aimed at neutralizing violent extremist organizations.

Stammer is no stranger to Fort Bragg.

He has commanded two companies within 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and led the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and during a deployment to Al Anbar in Iraq.

Stammer enlisted in the Army in 1982 and was honorably discharged three years later to attend the University of Houston.

He was commissioned after graduation and has gone on to serve as commander of the Operations Group for the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, commanding general of Joint Task Force - North at Fort Bliss, Texas, and as senior commander for Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Stammer wasn't the only general with Fort Bragg ties to be announced for a new post.

The Pentagon also said two other Army generals with local connections will be taking on new jobs.

In addition, an Air Force general with local ties was included in a separate release.

Brig. Gen. Frank M. Muth, director of the Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office in Washington will become program manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program.

Muth was previously assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, where he led the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment from 2004 to 2006.

During that time, the squadron was recognized as the best combat aviation unit in the Army, based on accomplishments from a year-long deployment to Iraq.

During that deployment, the squadron's three OH-58D Kiowa Warrior troops flew more than 3,000 combat missions and logged more than 21,000 flight hours in support of the 42nd Infantry Division in northern Iraq.

Brig. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag, commander of Special Operations Command South at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, will become commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, taking the post that Stammer is vacating.

Sonntag has served in several positions within Fort Bragg's special operations community, including as deputy commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

A Green Beret, the general spent much of his career in the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but also commanded the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg and served as operations officer for U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott A. Howell will earn a promotion with his new position, according to the Pentagon.

Howell has been selected for the grade of major general and will transition from director of operations for Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida, to commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan.

Howell served on Fort Bragg for two years.

From June 2008 to June 2010, the then-colonel commanded the Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group.

At the same time, he led the Joint Special Operations Aviation Component of Special Operations Task Force in Balad Air Base, Iraq and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

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©2016 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

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Major General Mark R. Stammer.
U.S. Army photo

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