Third Army bids farewell to key Operation Nickel II leader, welcomes new logistics director
December 18, 2010
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - One of the most innovative and pioneering leaders in military logistics, Brig. Gen. John O'Connor, Third Army director of logistics, was succeeded by Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, former commanding general for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School, Fort Lee, Va., at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait Dec. 20.
"General O'Connor carried a huge load for Third Army," said Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Third Army commanding general. "He was an integral part of Operation Nickel II, one of the most complicated set of maneuvers and deployments in military history."
As Third Army's director of logistics, Brig. Gen. O'Connor and his logistics team played a leading role in moving millions of pieces of equipment from Iraq to Afghanistan or back to the United States. They exceeded the Aug. 31 deadline to increase Forces in Afghanistan by 30,000 Troops and 5,000 mine-resistant vehicles; simultaneously, he led the Responsible Drawdown of Iraq by redeploying 90,000 troops and 70,000 pieces of rolling-stock equipment.
"He has performed his duties superbly by showing managerial skills and foresight we've come to expect from our senior leaders," Lt. Gen. Webster said.
Brig. Gen. O'Connor successor is Brig. Gen. Cross, who comes to Third Army with over 30 years of military experience including serving as a supply-management officer during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Brig. Gen. O'Connor plans to serve as the Department of the Army Operations and Logistics Readiness director in Washington, D.C.