Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s top commander is heading home from Afghanistan tomorrow, ending a yearlong deployment in which he and about 600 soldiers from the I Corps ran the war’s daily combat operations.
Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti yesterday gave a round of interviews with Pentagon reporters as he prepared to hand over his position as the war’s No. 2 commander to Lt. Gen. James Terry. The interviews centered on supply routes that ignore Pakistan because of frayed relations and new limits on drone strikes.
The News Tribune spoke with Scaparrotti in Afghanistan two months ago, highlighting what was a challenging year for Lewis-McChord leaders at home and in the field.
Scaparrotti’s return with I Corps Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell signals a summer of change in the top ranks at Lewis-McChord. Scaparrotti this summer is due to hand his post over to Maj. Gen. Robert Brown. I Corps Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Lloyd Miles is planning to retire. He is to be succeeded by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan.
Also, Lewis-McChord is building its new headquarters for the 7th Infantry Division and Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza.
The new generals will take command of a base with more than 9,300 active-duty soldiers in Afghanistan and another 4,000 preparing for deployments. Their first test of managing a full base with soldiers coming home from combat will take place late this year and in early 2013 when two of Lewis-McChord’s Stryker brigades end their deployments.