After a year in Iraq, Col. Jeff Gabbert has returned to familiar surroundings in his new assignment.

Gabbert is the commander of the Huntsville Contract Management Office, part of the Defense Contract Management Agency. He assumed command of DCMA Huntsville in a ceremony Thursday in Morris Auditorium at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

This is his third Huntsville assignment. Gabbert, 45, served in the Apache Project Office from 1998 to 2000 and in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office from 2002-2007. He was in Iraq from June 2008 to June 2009 as the DCMA commander for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It is an honor to be afforded the opportunity to command at this level again. Commanding here in Huntsville and being a part of Team Redstone only makes this opportunity to serve even more special for my family and I," Gabbert said. "I look forward to leading the Defense Contract

Management Agency-Huntsville command and ensuring the proper contract oversight is provided. We will ensure our Soldiers, sailors, airmen, DoD civilians and contractors that serve to protect and defend our nation receive the highest quality product available."

Gabbert was born in Paris, France, the son of a career Army NCO. He and his wife, Doreen, have three children: Greg, 19, Jennifer, 15, and Allison, 12.

Patricia Kirk-McAlpine, executive director of DCMA Space and Missile Systems Division, thanked Gabbert's predecessor, Col. Daniel Gallagher. After leading the Huntsville office the past three years, Gallagher is joining the Expeditionary Contracting Command at Fort Belvoir, Va.

"Col. Gallagher has been responsible for contract management services for 13 of the nation's highest level Acquisition Programs, ACAT I and II programs, consisting of more than 8,000 contracts valued at over $40 billion," Kirk-McAlpine said. "Col. Gallagher's leadership has been nothing short of outstanding."

Gallagher received a standing ovation from the more than 150 attendees. "It's been a fantastic ride for three years," he said.