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Rear Adm. Richard K. Gallagher has been named the director of operations for the U.S. European Command, succeeding Rear Adm. Hamlin Tallent, who is retiring. Gallagher is currently commander of Carrier Strike Force Training Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.

As director of operations, or J3, Gallagher will advise EUCOM’s commander, Marine Gen. James L. Jones, and deputy commander, Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, on military operations within EUCOM’s area of responsibility, which includes 91 nations in Europe and Africa.

In 2003, Tallent stood up the EUCOM Plans and Operations Center on Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, where more than 300 troops from all military branches and various disciplines work together to plan and execute operations.

Folk singers to tour AF bases

A pair of folk singers and storytellers will soon be visiting U.S. Air Force bases in England, Germany and the Benelux as part of the Extreme Summer program.

James Bowen and Scott Hensley begin 12-day, 14-base tour Sunday at RAF Alconbury in the United Kingdom. That’s followed by stops at RAF Croughton on Monday, RAF Fairford on Tuesday, RAF Lakenheath on Wednesday, RAF Mildenhall on Thursday and Menwith Hill on Friday, July 22.

The tour heads to the continent with stops in Vogelweh and Sembach, Germany, on July 23; Ramstein Air Base on July 24; Kleine Brogel, Belgium, on July 25; Kalkar, Germany, on July 26; Volkel Air Base, the Netherlands, on July 27; and Geilenkirchen and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on July 28.

Bowen is a storyteller, librarian and educator who has been performing for more than 17 years. Hensley, an adjunct professor at Nova Southern University, is a classically trained singer who has been performing for more than 20 years.

Those who take in the performances are eligible to earn points in the Extreme Summer program.

AAFES stores plan Potter parties

Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores are joining in the customary Harry Potter happenings that mark the release of each new volume in the wildly popular series.

AAFES Book Mark at Heidelberg, Germany, and several others in Europe will stay open late Friday and into Saturday so that fans can buy “Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth installment about the young sorcerer, as soon as it’s legal to do so, at 12:01 a.m.

When will they close?

“I’m going to stay open until the last person leaves,” said Suzie Bragg, Heidelberg Book Mark manager.

But that’s not all, kids.

The stores are planning games, puzzles, DJs, food, movies and more, and in Heidelberg, the Power Zone also is staying open past midnight.

Other AAFES Book Mark stores with extended hours include those in Aviano and Vicenza, Italy; Hanau, Hainerberg, Vogelweh, Ramstein, Mannheim, Bamberg, Bitburg and Wurzburg, Germany; and Mildenhall, England. Patch Barracks in Stuttgart will have an early morning event Saturday.

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