STUTTGART, Germany — The quiet unit that operates the information grid for all U.S. installations in Europe and Southwest Asia changed commanders on Thursday.

Army Col. Michelle Fraley took over command of the Defense Information Systems Agency–Europe, replacing Col. Michael J. Curry. The ceremony was held at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, where the agency, known as DISA-Europe, is headquartered.

Fraley was formerly deputy chief of staff (operations) and director of plans and programs at the Mannheim, Germany-based 5th Signal Command.

DISA-Europe employs 430 military members, civilians and contractors.

Through its Regional Network Operations and Security Center, the staff monitors and troubleshoots military communication lines in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia, including classified and unclassified phone and computer lines.

“The last two years we’ve flown below the radar, because communications was never an impediment to accomplishing the mission,” said Curry, whose next assignment will be with the U.S. Northern Command’s command, control and communications directorate.

Responsibilities to be faced by DISA-Europe in the near future include expanding its communications grid to support the newly forming U.S. Africa Command.

About 300 people attended the ceremony held on the grassy plaza known as Washington Square. Music was played by the 366th Army Band, a reserve unit based in Whitehall, Ohio.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now