MacDill AFB – The Acting Commander of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey will relinquish command to Gen. David H. Petraeus in a ceremony presided over by the Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert M. Gates, here Oct 31 at 10 a.m.
Lt. Gen. Dempsey has served our nation throughout a distinguished military career for more than 34 years and departs USCENTCOM after serving first as the deputy commander in August 2007, then as the acting commander since March 2008. During the summer of 2003 he took command of the 1st Armored Division and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was the first commander of Multi-National Division – Baghdad. From August 2005 to 2007 Dempsey stood as Commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. Dempsey has served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the Army and then went on to command one of the most important and dynamic operational commands, Central Command. Dempsey has been confirmed for promotion to general and his next assignment will be as Commander of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
Gen. Petraeus most recently served as Commander Multi-National Forces-Iraq, where he oversaw all Coalition forces from February 2007 to September 2008. He is most noted for his contribution to the stabilization of Iraq during surge operations in mid-2007. In 2003, Petraeus commanded the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He returned to Iraq in 2004 as the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command. Petraeus is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy, and subsequently earned a M.P.A. degree (1985) and a Ph.D. (1987) in International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Media interested in attending the Change of Command should meet at MacDill’s Tanker Gate at 8:00 a.m. Oct 31, to be bussed to the ceremony location. Pre-authorized satellite trucks should arrive at MacDill’s Tanker Gate at 7:00 a.m.
Media space is limited and will be facilitated on a first-come, first-served basis. Media should be prepared to provide valid media credentials issued by their media organizations as well as government issued identification. Only one reporter and one videographer or photographer from each organization will be allowed on the base. No individual interviews will be available.
Media interested in attending must call (813) 827-5894 no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, to indicate attendance. Media who do not RSVP or who show up without valid credentials will be turned away at the gate.