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Archive for Saturday, July 21, 2007

1st Infantry Division commander Ham leaving for Pentagon post

July 21, 2007

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— The commanding general of Fort Riley is leaving the post to become director of operations at the Pentagon, the Army said Friday.

Maj. Gen. Carter Ham also has been nominated for a third star, the Army said.

He has been commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley since August 2006, when the division returned its headquarters from Germany to Kansas.

"My year at Fort Riley has been the highlight of my career," Ham said in a written statement. "Commanding the historic 1st Infantry Division truly has been an honor, and living in Kansas has been a privilege."

Replacing Ham will be Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin, the current commander of the Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan. A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for July 31 at Fort Riley.

Durbin has been serving in Afghanistan since January 2006. Previously, he was commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley from 1998 to 2000.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican, said Ham would be missed for his accomplishments at Fort Riley over the past 10 months. Ham oversaw the return of the division, the expansion of facilities to handle the influx of soldiers and the development of the transition team program that trains advisers for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The 1st Infantry Division plays a crucial role in the Global War on Terrorism, and General Ham provided excellent leadership during a crucial time over the past year," Brownback said in a statement.

He added that Durbin's experience in building Afghan forces would be of value at Fort Riley.

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