Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald assumes command of USASAC
June 17, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command has a new commanding general. Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald assumed command of USASAC during a ceremony on June. 17 on the parade field outside USASAC headquarters. Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of Army Materiel Command presided over the ceremony, which signaled the departure of outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Frank D. "Del" Turner III.
McDonald, who recently served as Commanding General of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Okla. said, "This is an important command…Building coalition capacity, partnerships, and strengthening our alliances are all key pieces of our security assistance mission. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this."
McDonald, a Tennessee native, also noted that being part of an area that calls itself the "Tennessee Valley" was a great way to start the first assignment of his 34-year career near his home state.
The ceremony was also an occasion for USASAC and the Army to bid "farewell" to the outgoing commander. Turner, who served as the USASAC commanding general since Sept. 30, 2011, will retire with 37 years of military service. During his career Turner served in a variety of leadership and staff positions, from Company and Fire Support Officer through Program Manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program. He was instrumental in improving the efficiency of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process and unifying the Army Security Assistance Enterprise through several initiatives.
In recounting his time at USASAC, Turner said, "USASAC is known as 'The Army's Face to the World,' and it's been my honor to be that face."
USASAC implements approved U.S. Army security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of defense articles and services to 145 countries. The command is responsible for the life cycle management of more than 4,600 FMS cases valued at $143 billion.