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Brig. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya will become commander of the Vicenza, Italy-based Southern European Task Force during a ceremony April 30 at Caserma Ederle.

Kamiya will replace Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Turner II.

Kamiya is currently commander of Fort Polk, La., and the Joint Readiness Training Center. Before that, he was assistant division commander for support for the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Turner has been selected to become commander of the 101st AD.

Kamiya will command about 2,000 soldiers at SETAF and help oversee the 22nd Area Support Group, the 13th Military Police Company, 509th Signal Battalion and operations at Camp Darby near Florence, Italy, according to SETAF spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Collins.

At SETAF, an Army-led joint task force, the command can expand in numbers as needed. For example, Turner last summer directed a force of 5,000 troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines during a peacekeeping and humanitarian mission in Liberia, a war-ravaged nation in western Africa.

SETAF also played a key role at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom when its largest military component, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, parachuted on March 26, 2003, into northern Iraq and secured the Bashur airfield.

The airfield was used as a drop-off point for equipment and personnel during the war.

The brigade recently returned from its one-year deployment. Nine of its members died during the deployment, according to Collins, and nearly 100 were wounded.


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