Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
1 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. Keith Toler, incoming battalion commander of Allied Forces South Battalion, U.S. Army NATO Brigade, receive the battalion colors from USANATO Bde. commander, Col. Jason Riley during the AFSOUTH change of command and responsibility ceremony, ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
2 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Allied Forces South Battalion Soldiers stand in formation during the battalion's change of command and responsibility ceremony, in which the battalion marked the change between commanders and sergeants major. Toler took the reins from outgoing comman... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
3 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lisa Misenheimer was presented with a commander's award for public service by U.S. Army NATO Brigade commander, Col. Jason Riley during the Allied Forces South Battalion's change of command and responsibility ceremony, in which the battalion marked t... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
4 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. John Misenheimer was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal by U.S. Army NATO Brigade commander, Col. Jason Riley during the Allied Forces South Battalion's change of command and responsibility ceremony, in which the battalion marked the... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
5 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tanja Gutierrez poses with her newly awarded Teri Maude and Debra Strickland Spouse Medal for Distinguished Achievement during the battalion's change of command and responsibility ceremony, in which the battalion marked the change between both comman... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
6 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. John Gutierrez was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal by U.S. Army NATO Brigade commander, Col. Jason Riley during the Allied Forces South Battalion's change of command and responsibility ceremony, in which the battalion mar... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Allied Forces South Battalion changes leadership
7 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – From left to right, Command Sgt. Maj. John Gutierrez outgoing senior enlisted leader, Lt. Col. John Misenheimer, outgoing commander, Col. Jason Riley, U.S. Army NATO Brigade commander, Lt. Col Keith Toler, incoming commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Se... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Lt. Col. Keith Toler and Command Sgt. Maj. Serjio Pruneda assumed their respective roles as commander, and senior enlisted leader of Allied Forces South Battalion, U.S. Army NATO Brigade, from Lt. Col. John Misenheimer and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gutierrez in a ceremony June 1 at Joint Forces Command Headquarters in Lago di Patria, Italy.

Misenheimer and Gutierrez led the unit for two years through a number of important NATO exercises, operations and initiatives. Most notably they oversaw the planning and coordination of the 1 Army ball in the Brigade in over 5 years. They facilitated the logistical and administrative needs for the expansion of the Air Ground Surveillance Squadron in Sigonella, Italy.

The team also improved the medical readiness of their supported population by working with the local U.S. Naval hospital in Naples providing U.S. Navy medical services the tools and training to understand the Army process and better serve the Army population at JFC Naples.

Misenheimer will be going to the United States Army Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he will work in the manpower division of the J-1 section. Gutierrez will be retiring after a 32 year career including multiple overseas assignments and deployments.

"The ability to balance all higher headquarters lines of efforts, and contribute to each of them meaningfully is the mark of excellent leadership, and that is exactly what this battalion has done under the leadership of this command team," said Col. Jason Riley, USANATO Bde. commander. "Lt. Col Misenheimer and Command Sgt. Maj. Gutierrez clearly understood the priorities and used creative solutions to make not only the battalion, but this brigade as a whole, successful in its mission to provide trained and ready U.S. Army Soldiers to NATO."

Toler comes to AFSOUTH from the Office of the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon where he served as the Executive Officer and Pruneda is arriving from the Human Resources Command in Fort Knox where he served as Army Special Operations Forces Branch Sergeant Major.

Both incoming leaders are familiar with the unique challenges faced by the USANATO Bde. Lt. Col. Toler previously served as the Commander for Bravo Company, USANATO SHAPE Battalion (currently C Company, AFSOUTH) and Command Sgt Maj. Pruneda served in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Allied Forces North Battalion as well as the NATO Special Operations Command.