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Hunzeker itching to get back to Iraq, lead troops outLt. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker left V Corps in a state of waiting Friday, as its continued existence seems undecided after years of planning for its demise.

Army transformation and rebasing plans had called for the V Corps to merge with U.S. Army Europe and become a deployable headquarters called 7th Army.

But weeks before a deactivation ceremony scheduled for this summer, it was announced that V Corps would survive at least another year.

“There was recognition that once you take it down, it takes a while to build it back up,” said Hunzeker, who will be deputy commander of Multi-National Force — Iraq after two years with V Corps.

Hunzeker and others have said it became clear that without a corps, there would be a command void. The new 7th Army command could not simultaneously support the U.S. European Command and provide training, readiness and oversight to subordinate units.

The future of V Corps will be determined by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Defense Department’s sweeping analysis of strategic objectives and potential military threats, Hunzeker said.

But who will command V Corps for the interim was unclear on Friday.

A public affairs official said they had received no word on the matter — and, since Hunzeker had not yet been confirmed by Congress for his new position, they couldn’t actually confirm he was leaving.

Hunzeker’s confirmation was held up by the Senate’s concentration on health care legislation, an aide said. His confirmation was expected last week but never came, and Hunzeker’s farewell ceremony was postponed.

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Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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