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Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017,  in Vicenza, Italy.

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy. (Nancy Montgomery/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017,  in Vicenza, Italy.

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy. (Nancy Montgomery/Stars and Stripes)

Col. James B. Bartholomees III, center, new commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, chatted with colleagues before a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy.

Col. James B. Bartholomees III, center, new commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, chatted with colleagues before a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy. (Nancy Montgomery/Stars and Stripes)

Col. Greg Anderson, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade for the past two years, greeted well-wishers after a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy. Anderson's next posting is at CENTCOM in Tampa, Fla., where he'll be the command's executive officer.

Col. Greg Anderson, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade for the past two years, greeted well-wishers after a change-of-command ceremony on Friday, July 7, 2017, in Vicenza, Italy. Anderson's next posting is at CENTCOM in Tampa, Fla., where he'll be the command's executive officer. (Nancy Montgomery/Stars and Stripes)

VICENZA, Italy — The 173rd Airborne Brigade, America’s quick-reaction force for Europe and Africa, received a new commander on Friday.

Col. James. B. Bartholomees III, a U.S. Military Academy graduate, assumed command of the brigade at a ceremony here.

Bartholomees was part of the 3rd Ranger Battalion’s 2003 Iraq assault. As a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, he deployed nine times to Afghanistan. He has served with the regiment in positions ranging from company commander to task force commander.

The brigade’s former commander, Col. Greg Anderson, is headed to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., where he’ll serve as the executive officer. Anderson, also a West Point graduate, holds advanced degrees in defense analysis and strategic studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Army War College, respectively. While battalion commander for infantry and Ranger regiments out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and Fort Lewis, Wash., he, too, deployed repeatedly to Iraq and Afghanistan.

montgomery.nancy@stripes.com

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Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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