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Army Maj. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division in Wiesbaden, Germany, has been tabbed to lead the multinational effort to train and equip Iraqi security forces.

While Dempsey is to relinquish command of the 1st AD on Wednesday, there had been no word about his new job until late Friday, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld named Dempsey to replace Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus as head of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq.

The job is one of the most important in all of Iraq. As head of MNSTC-I, Dempsey will oversee the multi-billion-dollar effort to train and equip Iraqi security forces, from border guards to police officers to commandos. The U.S.-led initiative to train Iraqi forces is generally regarded as the long-term solution to restore peace and security to Iraq.

President Bush has nominated Dempsey for a third star.

Replacing Dempsey in Wiesbaden will be Maj. Gen. Fred D. Robinson. A change-of-command ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The Defense Department announced other presidential nominations.

Among them was the selection of Lt. Gen. William E. Ward to the post of deputy commander, U.S. European Command, Germany.

Ward, in line to receive a fourth star, is currently deputy commanding general and chief of staff of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, Germany. He also temporarily serves as a security coordinator for the Middle East peace.

Petraeus, who presently heads up MNSTC-I, is leaving to become commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan.


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