Support our mission
 
1st Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, right, hands the 69th Air Defense Artillery battle flag from the outgoing commander, Col. R. Kirk Lawrence, middle, to the new commander, Col. Mark McConkey, during a ceremony Thursday.
1st Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, right, hands the 69th Air Defense Artillery battle flag from the outgoing commander, Col. R. Kirk Lawrence, middle, to the new commander, Col. Mark McConkey, during a ceremony Thursday. (Steve Liewer / S&S)

GIEBELSTADT, Germany — Two weeks after the unit moved from the command of V Corps to the 1st Infantry Division, the Giebelstadt-based 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade changed commanders.

Col. Mark McConkey took command of the Patriot missile unit Thursday from Col. R. Kirk Lawrence.

McConkey, a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., is no stranger to Germany. He served several early tours with the 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery in Hanau and later was operations officer for the 94th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Darmstadt. Most recently he was combat identification branch chief with the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

During Lawrence’s two years of command, the 69th ADA participated in international exercises in Crete, Italy and Israel. He will move to Heidelberg to become executive officer of the NATO Land Component Command.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, the 1st Infantry Division commander, was the supervising general at the change of command, the 69th ADA’s first ceremonial event since it was attached to 1st ID on July 1.

“It’s a special event for us to now be a part of the Big Red One,” Lawrence said.

First Lt. Eugene Hunt, a 69th ADA spokesman, said the transfer to 1st ID is temporary as a result of V Corps’ pending deployment to Iraq. “That will remain in effect till V Corps comes back,” he said.

V Corps has transferred two other units to Hunzeker’s command. The 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment from Illesheim was moved last spring before its former command, the 11th Aviation Regiment, was dissolved. The Katterbach-based 45th Medical Company, an air ambulance unit, also switched recently.

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up