REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command has a new commanding general. Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen assumed command of USASAC during a June 2 ceremony 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. Mark McDonald.

Farmen, who recently served as Commanding General, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life-Cycle Management Command/Joint Munitions Command and as the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, Ill., said, "I am immensely proud to assume command of this U.S. Army Security Assistance Command. It is an immense responsibility and one that I do not take lightly." To McDonald, Farmen said he was "honored to take on the baton and build on the foundation that you have put in place."

The ceremony was also an occasion for USASAC and the Army to bid farewell to McDonald, who served as the USASAC commanding general since June 17, 2014. McDonald will retire with 36 years of military service. During his career, he served in a variety of leadership and staff positions, including three tours in Iraq. He served as the Deputy Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, and as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., and the U.S Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, Ky.

In recounting his time at USASAC, McDonald said "I have been a member of a great team, and could ask for nothing more," as he retires from military service.

USASAC implements approved U.S. Army security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of defense articles and services to 153 countries. The command is responsible for the life cycle management of more than 5,300 FMS cases valued at $172 billion.