The Pentagon on Friday announced that Maj. Gen. Frank Helmick has been nominated to succeed Lt. Gen. Jim Dubik as commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. That’s the effort to train and equip Iraq’s security forces.
No word on the timing; the guess here is that it will be a bit before Helmick’s promotion to lieutenant general and nomination are confirmed in the Senate, and then he’ll go over and shadow Dubik for a while to learn the job. (Dubik’s nomination was announced in January 2007, and he started work in Iraq in May.)
Helmick is a former assistant division commander in the 101st Airborne Division under then-Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, and served in Mosul in 2003-04.
No word either on what Dubik, who left command at Fort Lewis and I Corps for the Iraq job, will do next. He was asked how long he’d be in the MNSTC-I job when he spoke with local reporters in a VTC March 13.
“The agreement is that I stay here as long as they need me, or the Army has another job for me,” Dubik said.
He said there are three options: the Army could leave him in the current post, the Army could assign him to a new job, or the Army could not offer another job and he could begin his life in the civilian world.
“I came here thinking it would be 18-to-24 months, and my mind still there. … We’ll see.”
UPDATE: Got a response from Dubik, via Lt. Col. Dan Williams, the MNSTC-I PAO:
“As we all know the Senate must approve the nomination before any dates are set or moves are made. Once the legislative approval has been made then it could be at any time. MG Helmick is serving in a tough
assignment at SETAF in Italy, he’s an experienced leader, and I expect, if his nomination is approved, he’ll do well in this assignment.
“As for what happens to me next, no final decisions are made. But, for now I have my hands full with this assignment; my focus is doing my part in the contintued growth and development of the Iraqi Security Forces — military and police. They have made huge steps forward in size and quality, we’ve begun to develop their enablers, we’ve increased their leader content — officer and NCO, and we all want that momentum to continue.”