US Army Garrison Italy says ‘ciao’ to its outgoing and incoming commanders
By NANCY MONTGOMERY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 24, 2019
VICENZA, Italy – An officer with a Ranger background took command of U.S. Army Garrison Italy on Wednesday in a ceremony with speeches praising Italy, workers, teams and the accomplishments of the outgoing commander.
Col. Daniel Vogel took command of the garrison from Col. Erik Berdy, who is headed to the Pentagon, where he’ll be special assistant for legislative affairs to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Berdy opened his speech with plaudits for Italian and American garrison employees and his command team, which he said had enabled him to improve several functions over the past two years. First among them was an effort with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army Europe and Aviano Air Base to improve power-projection capabilities by taking over from the brigade the logistical intricacies of getting paratroopers from their base onto planes at Aviano.
Berdy also mentioned an initiative during his tenure for joint late-night, weekend patrols by U.S. military police and Italian Carabinieri, a $365 million base housing project that’s getting underway, plans for a new high school and a new gym.
Berdy said he hadn’t expected to find garrison command in Italy so challenging or fulfilling but that it had been a career and personal highlight.
“Your time here will go way, way, way too fast,” he told Vogel.
Vogel kept his remarks brief, thanking friends, family, and a variety of officials and military officers, and said he honored “our historic partnership.”
Vogel, a 1996 graduate of The Citadel, has deployed twice to Afghanistan and four times to Iraq.
Before his previous assignment — attending the Army War College — he was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command, first as deputy chief of operations at Ft. Bragg, N.C., and then as deputy director at Ft. Benning, Ga.