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U.S. Central Command

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U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), according to the USCENTCOM web site, is "Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands assigned operational control of U.S. combat forces. USCENTCOM's Commander, Gen. Tommy R. Franks, reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, who in turn, reports to the President of the United States."

"A Unified Combatant Command is composed of forces from two or more services, has a broad and continuing mission, and is normally organized on a geographical basis into regions known as 'Areas Of Responsibility' (AORs). USCENTCOM's AOR stretches from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia."

"Organized as a headquarters element, USCENTCOM has no war fighting units permanently assigned to it. Instead, all four Armed Services provide USCENTCOM with component commands, which, along with our joint special operations component , make up USCENTCOM's primary war fighting and engagement organizations."

"Activated by President Ronald Reagan on Jan.1, 1983, USCENTCOM is the permanent successor to the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, a temporary organization created by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to project American power in the Middle East and East Africa."

"In its first year as a command, USCENTCOM conducted Operations EARLY CALL and ARID FARMER - both successful in quelling Libyan-sponsored insurgencies in Sudan and Chad respectively. Other operations, with names like EAGLE LOOK, EARNEST WILL, NIMBLE ARCHER, and PRAYING MANTIS were successfully conducted throughout the 1980s by USCENTCOM."

"In the 1990s, USCENTCOM became known for its success in the liberation of Kuwait (OPERATION DESERT STORM) under the leadership of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, and for humanitarian intervention in Somalia. Today, USCENTCOM and its coalition partners continue to confront challenges in the AOR. Whether it's enforcing the no-fly zone over southern Iraq (OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH) or combating international terrorism (OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM), USCENTCOM maintains its commitment to national security interests in the region."

"With these national interests in mind, USCENTCOM's objectives are to enhance regional stability and demonstrate a steadfast commitment to regional security. The Commander's Strategy Overview provides a detailed explanation of USCENTCOM's mission, vision, intent and goals."

"To reach its objectives, USCENTCOM maintains an active engagement program that includes combined exercises such as BRIGHT STAR, held every two years in Egypt. Other important USCENTCOM engagement activities include humanitarian and security assistance programs, as well as combined training and education opportunities for military members in AOR nations."

Taken from the USCENTCOM web site.

Baghdad Command

On April 30, 2004, Bill Gertz and Rowen Scarborough reported from Inside the Ring that "It's largely gone unnoticed, but the U.S. military command in Baghdad has grown. There are now two three-star generals running the show whereas only one used to do the job, as well as a two-star brought in specifically to supervise Iraqi training.

"The proliferation of stars is a result of three developments: the upswing in violent attacks by insurgents; the poor showing by coalition-trained Iraqi security forces; and the coming handover of sovereignty to a new Iraqi government. (See Iraqi sovereignty: June 30, 2004.)

"The plan had been for Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, III Corps commander at Fort Hood, Texas, to relieve Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commands Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq.

"But Gen. Sanchez is sticking around and is in line for a fourth star.

"'He will stay for the foreseeable future,' said a senior defense official.

"Gen. Sanchez is now in charge of overall operations, paying close attention to big-picture items, such as working out relations between the new civilian government and its security forces, and the American military. Gen. Metz is the No. 2 officer, running day-to-day operations.

"And the two-star is Maj. Gen. David Petraeus. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld brought the 101st Airborne Division commander back to Iraq to overhaul the flawed training of Iraqi police, army and civil defense corps units.

"All three generals report to Gen. John P. Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command."

See Multi-National Corps-Iraq and Multi-National Force-Iraq for command information for generals Metz and Sanchez.

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