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Former JBLM commander headed to South Korea as slots for generals change hands

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on May 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
May 29, 2013 3:47 pm

The military’s summer shuffle of command assignments is shaking up a few of the top posts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Two deputy commanding generals for Lewis-McChord’s I Corps on Wednesday said goodbye to the base.

One, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, is moving on to command all Army installations in the Washington, D.C. area. The other, Canadian Brig. Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, is returning to a command assignment in Quebec.

Meanwhile, a recent I Corps commander is heading to South Korea.

Lt. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti, who only last June came home with Lewis-McChord’s headquarters from a yearlong assignment in Afghanistan, is expected to receive a fourth star when he takes command of the 28,000 service members of U.S. Forces Korea.

The I Corps is Lewis-McChord’s top Army headquarters. It is led by Scaparrotti’s successor, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown.

The corps has two deputy commander slots, and one is reserved for a Canadian. Brig. Gen.Carl Turenne is following Lanthier in that slot.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl is following Buchanan. Dahl is coming home from a tour in Afghanistan.

Lewis-McChord has added several slots for generals in the past year with at least one more to come.

The Army in October launched its 7th Infantry Division at Lewis-McChord led by Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza. Lanza has two deputy commanders, a one-star general and a promotable colonel.

Later this summer, the Army is expected to elevate the command of its 593rd Sustainment Brigade from a slot for a colonel to one for a one-star general.

Officers say the extra command posts provide steady leadership as the Army winds down from the fast pace of the past decade’s wars. Buchanan in his remarks at his send-off singled out the 7th Infantry Division for improving “coaching, teaching and mentoring” for the base’s primary combat brigades. Previously, Lewis-McChord was the only base of its size without a division command.

Buchanan took his post at Lewis-McChord in April 2012. He oversaw training with a challenging budget and visited exercises with Asian allies to participate in the Army’s shift of resources to the Pacific.

Lanthier was in charge of logistics and soldier and family support services during his assignment with I Corps. He also served with the corps in Afghanistan in 2011-12.

“Hopefully I don’t cause a shock when I go back to the Canadian system because I’ve learned so much,” he said.

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