In a Wednesday ceremony in Heidelberg, Germany, U.S. Army Europe’s top noncommissioned officer bid the command farewell.

After spending two years advising USAREUR commanders Gen. David McKiernan and Lt. Gen. Gary Speer, Command Sgt. Maj. Iuniasolua T. Savusa, is leaving USAREUR to take the top NCO slot for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In his new post, Savusa again will be advising McKiernan, who is serving as ISAF’s commander. McKiernan hand-picked Savusa for the job.

"In the last two years, more than 19,000 USAREUR soldiers have trained and deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Many of those soldiers are still deployed today," Savusa said at the Wednesday ceremony, according to a USAREUR press release. "Some of them I will see very soon."

Among those in attendance Wednesday was U.S. Rep. Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin Faleomavaega Jr., American Samoa’s delegate to the House of Representatives. Savusa is also Samoan.

Savusa was awarded the Legion of Merit for his efforts as USAREUR’s top noncommissioned officer.

Speer, who also spoke Wednesday, said Savusa was expected to stay in the USAREUR command group for at least another year, but was not surprised when McKiernan selected him for duty downrange.

Savusa has served in Afghanistan twice, with the 101st Airborne Division in 2002 and as the Combined Joint Task Force-76 sergeant major in 2005.

Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Beam, V Corps’ sergeant major, is holding the USAREUR position until Savusa’s replacement is named.

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