The head of strategic planning and policy at the Hawaii-based U.S Pacific Command has been tapped to pin on a third star and take command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon announcement.

Pending Senate confirmation, Army Maj. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry will take over Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, relieving Lt. Gen. David Barno, who’s been there for the past year.

CFC-Afghanistan is responsible for that country and parts of Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Eikenberry has seen several tours in China, working mostly in diplomatic posts there, according to his official biography.

Eikenberry also oversaw the Army’s training of the Afghan army, among other responsibilities, as the chief of military cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from September 2002 to September 2003.

It was unclear whether Barno would get the nod for another assignment or retire. “Plans for Gen. Barno’s next assignment haven’t been announced,” said Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pam Hart.

Italian labor unions call off planned strikes

NAPLES, Italy — Italian labor union officials have canceled strikes for Friday and Feb. 4 in advance of a contract meeting scheduled between union and U.S. military representatives in mid-February.

Hundreds of Italian employees went on strike Jan. 21 at U.S. bases in Italy, marching to bring attention to growing complaints such as inadequate pay and pensions and upcoming layoffs.

Union leaders and workers had planned three nationwide strikes but they decided to cancel the last two in anticipation of the planned talks in Rome, one official said.

Normal base access and shuttle bus service are expected to continue Friday and Feb. 4, according to an all-hands message put out late Wednesday by Naval Support Activity, Naples, base officials said.

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 Now