VICENZA, Italy – Public Health Activity - Italy held a change of command ceremony August 4, as the activity's outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Leif Ibsen, relinquished his command to Lt. Col. Brian Tripp.
Col. Brian Spangler, Public Health Command Europe commander, presided over the ceremony attended by few but livestreamed on social media to maintain physical distancing guidelines and ensure safety for Soldiers, family members, and civilians.
“Today we gather to witness the passing of the unit colors from one great leader to another," said Spangler. "The military has a way of taking you out of your comfort environment and teaching you something brand new every day and with that, Leif definitely rose to the challenge and met the needs of the organization.”
During the ceremony, Ibsen thanked the PHA-I workforce for the opportunity to serve as the PHA-I commander.
“For the men and women of Public Health Activity - Italy, I can’t thank everyone by name but I appreciate each and everything you do,” said Ibsen.
Ibsen added that often times the PHA-I mission is unrecognized and behind the scenes, whether it’s at deployed locations or inside the garrison.
Ibsen joined PHA-I in August of last year after serving at the U.S. Army Africa Headquarters. He will soon join the U.S. Army Medical Material Development Activity at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
The ceremony officially passed leadership to Tripp, who will serve as the activity’s new leader.
“Public Health Activity - Italy, Gladiators, I’m sincerely honored to be your commander and I will work tirelessly to support you and our unit,” said Tripp. “Our hard work and dedication ensures safe and efficient mission operations for all Department of Defense entities.”
Tripp has been in Vicenza since 2018 where he served as the chief of Medical Operations and Plans for the U.S. Army Africa/ Southern European Task Force.
Public Health Activity - Italy spans across seven different locations, in four countries, remaining one of the most geographically dispersed veterinary units in the Army. It provides medical care for Military Working Dogs and conducts food safety and defense inspections supporting Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines in European Command, Central Command, Africa Command, and Special Operations Command in over 43 countries.
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