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Defense and Intelligence

Michael Kurilla Confirmed as CENTCOM Chief

Michael Kurilla,

Commander,

US Central Command

Michael Kurilla Confirmed as CENTCOM Chief

The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla as the commander of the U.S. Central Command. He will take over from U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who is expected to step down as CENTCOM chief in April.

Kurilla said during his confirmation hearing in early February that the Middle Eastern region, where CENTCOM operates, will remain critical for the United States’ national security because of Iran’s negative influence, particularly in supporting militia groups in Iraq and Syria. He also told lawmakers that 90 percent of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups are still active in the Middle East, and these groups are intent on attacking Americans, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

Kurilla is currently leading a task force of U.S. troops in Germany that is supporting NATO allies amid worsening tensions between the alliance and Russia over Ukraine.

The newly confirmed CENTCOM chief currently commands the Army 18th Airborne Corps, which is designed for rapid deployments anywhere around the world. He also led special operations and conventional forces in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army leader also commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment and its 2nd Ranger Battalion. He was awarded two Purple Heart honors and a Bronze Star medal for valor for his efforts in Mosul, where he continued to fight despite being shot multiple times.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: 18th Airborne Corps Defense & Intelligence executive shift Kenneth McKenzie Michael Kurilla Stars and Stripes US Central Command