Terry takes helm at V Corps
WIESBADEN ARMY AIRFIELD, Germany — Lt. Gen. James L. Terry assumed command of V Corps here Tuesday with a mandate to prepare for deployment this summer to Afghanistan, where last year Terry served as commander general in Regional Command-South.
“As commander of V Corps, my purpose is to train and lead it to join the NATO mission in Afghanistan starting this summer,” Terry said at a ceremony in which he took command from Brig. Gen. Ricky Gibbs, who becomes V Corps deputy commanding general.
As Terry, Gibbs and U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling stood for the command ceremony, a volley of cannon fire erupted from outside in a 15-gun salute, shaking the floor and rattling the windows of the hall where nearly 700 soldiers and dignitaries had gathered for the event.
“This is the day when V Corps rose from the ashes like a Phoenix,” said Hertling, referring to a decision to maintain the Army’s only permanently forward-deployed corps, which originally was slated for inactivation in 2009.
V Corps is designed to train and deploy with more agility in an increasingly asymmetrical battlefield.
Terry returns to Afghanistan in June with V Corps to serve as commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, commonly referred to as IJC.
“Our focus from this point forward will be to execute a comprehensive man, equip and train effort that prepares us for deployment and the operational environment of Afghanistan. We expect to become fully operational in late spring and then deploy,” Terry said.
For Terry, whose first assignment was a 2nd lieutenant with the 1-15th Infantry Regiment in Kitzingen, the return to Germany is sort of a homecoming.
“Thirty-three years ago, almost to the day, Lieutenant and Mrs. Terry arrived in Germany,” he said. “This is where we started our professional life. It’s great to be back.”