By Ray Johnson, IMCOM-Europe Public Affairs OfficerJune 3, 2019
SEMBACH, Germany - Installation Management Command-Europe welcomed its new director while bidding farewell to his predecessor during a transition of authority ceremony held here May 31.
Tommy Mize becomes only the fifth director for IMCOM-Europe, replacing Michael Formica, who will now serve as deputy to the commanding general of the Army's Combined Arms Center.
Lt. Gen. Chris Cavoli, commander of U.S. Army Europe, who hosted the ceremony, credited Formica for building a strong rapport that exists today between USAREUR and IMCOM-Europe.
"I don't think there is a better relationship between two commands in the Army," said Cavoli.
The general described Formica as a "thoughtful, warm leader; one who cares about people…and that is a gift to all of us."
Formica took the reins of IMCOM-Europe in late 2014, when the U.S. military on this continent was set in a very different force posture.
The Army had undergone more than a decade of transformation in Europe, with 30,000 Soldiers standing guard here when once there were 10 times that number. Just a few years earlier, the First Armored Division had moved to Fort Bliss, Texas, and V Corps was inactivated. Moreover, garrison numbers had dropped from 21 to only seven enduring locations.
However, major changes had begun with Russia annexing Crimea seven months earlier.
"In response, we moved our stance from engagement to assurance, deterrence and defense," recalled Formica, adding that "five years later we find ourselves operating from a more complex environment."
However, Formica believes that such challenges also deliver opportunities for success, which he considers a calling card for USAREUR and IMCOM-Europe.
"We jointly positioned our garrisons and forward sites to support an increased warfighter presence," he said. "We are reshaping garrisons as platforms for Army readiness. We are providing vital infrastructure and programs to organize, train, equip, deploy and conduct combat operations."
As for Soldier and family quality-of-life programs, Formica said IMCOM "will never lose sight of that calling; we have undergone major changes, but our focus remains the same, especially at the installation level, where we are the Army's home."
Now charged with overseeing that mission is Mize, who joins the IMCOM team from U.S. Forces Korea as its director of transformation and restationing.
Prior to entering the civilian ranks, he wore the Army uniform for 30 years as an engineer officer, including multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
"I am both humbled and excited to be back in IMCOM," said Mize, who served as deputy to the commander of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, Republic of Korea, from 2015-2017.
"To all our professionals, I want to thank you for what you do each and every day in supporting our units and communities," Mize said. "There will be challenges ahead, there always are when you strive to do great things in a dynamic, unpredictable environment. Together, we will overcome for the benefit of our Soldiers, civilians and family members. They deserve nothing less."