VICENZA, Italy -- Lt. Col. Leif Ibsen assumed command of Public Health Activity-Italy from Col. Sarah Goldman during the change of command ceremony held at Caserma C. Ederle, Italy on July 30.

Col. Brian Spangler, Public Health Command Europe commander, presided over the ceremony attended by family, friends, Soldiers and Host Nation Professionals. Spangler said Goldman completed a remarkable tour in Italy while managing a diverse mission with a large, complex, and geographically dispersed activity.

"Her tour far exceeded the boundaries of her areas of responsibility," said Spangler. "She directed efforts to improve metrics in the food safety and Military Working Dog missions, developed trainings to enhance the readiness and professional advancement of her Soldiers and spearheaded reinforcement of partnerships between US. Army Public Health organizations and their counterparts in Spain, Italy, and Israel."

The Army's Change of Command Ceremony is a time-honored tradition where the Soldiers give honor and respect to an outgoing commanding officer and welcome aboard a new commanding officer.

Ibsen comes to PHA-I from United States Army Africa Headquarters and with multiple operational experiences and deployments.

"There is no greater honor within the Army than leading America's sons and daughters," said Ibsen. "I am excited to join this team of professionals continuing to provide superior support to garrison communities throughout Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom as well as deployed locations within Africa."

PHA-I provides Food Safety and Defense, Animal Medicine, and Zoonotic Disease Surveillance from seven branches within the United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey and Italy. Supporting 26 countries in Europe and Africa, PHA-I remains one of the most geographically-dispersed veterinary units in the Army.

PHA-I's mission is to provide public health and veterinary medical services in support of EUCOM, AFRICOM, and CENTCOM to enable readiness, conserve the fighting strength, and protect the health of those they are privileged to serve.

For more information visit https://rhce.amedd.army.mil/phce/pha_italy.html or follow "Public Health Command Europe" on Facebook.