U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate Army General Lloyd Austin, who oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, to lead the regional command that includes Afghanistan and the Middle East, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
Austin, who now serves as vice chief of staff of the Army, would serve as commander of Central Command based in Tampa, Florida. The four-star general would replace outgoing Marine General James Mattis.
"During his final deployment to Iraq, General Austin led our military efforts at a particularly important time, overseeing the drawdown of US forces and equipment while simultaneously helping to ensure that hard-fought security gains were preserved and that Iraqis could secure and govern themselves," Panetta said in a statement.
Austin served three times in Iraq, first leading the 3rd Infantry Division at the beginning of the war, and also commanded troops in Afghanistan.
The US plans to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but is in talks about continuing cooperation for the next decade.
Most Popular Stories
- Ex-Mobster to Bulger: Just Say Sorry
- Google Stock Split Ahead
- Guns Are Hot in California
- OSH Selling Most of Its Stores to Lowe's
- El Paso Symposium Offers Help to Startups
- MillerCoors Taps New Hispanic Ad Agency
- First Person Cured of AIDS Virus Wants to Help Others
- Small Businesses Hiring, but Worry About Expense
- Honda Says Sorry About the Lack of Electric Fits
- LULAC Convention Starts With Focus on LGBT Youth