CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Members of the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), U.S. Army senior leaders and distinguished guests, including representatives from partner nations, gathered for a change of command ceremony at the Center, July 14.
Col. Eric H. Haas, who most recently served as an instructor at the U.S. Army War College, assumed command of the NGIC from Col. Christopher C. Rankin.
As the presiding official, Maj. Gen. Michele H. Bredenkamp, INSCOM commanding general, spoke of the many NGIC accomplishments achieved under Rankin and welcomed the new commander and his family to the Center.
"NGIC is extremely fortunate to have been led by Col. Chris Rankin, a leader whose extraordinary insight into the Army’s future requirements and people-first focus established NGIC as a premier intelligence organization," Bredenkamp said. “Over the past two years, Chris skillfully led our NGIC Soldiers and civilians through some very uncertain and challenging times. Chris, under your leadership, NGIC accomplished so much.”
Bredenkamp said Rankin truly made a difference with the Army's number one priority – its People.
"You genuinely have taken the best care of our Soldiers, our civilians and our family members. You’ve implemented many innovative programs focused on strengthening our workforce, talent management, professional development, holistic health and fitness programs, and building cohesive, disciplined teams built on trust and confidence,” Bredenkamp said. “Thank you so much for your dedication, for your sacrifice, and for your amazing leadership. Your impact on NGIC, INSCOM and our Army will be enduring.”
Bredenkamp highlighted to those in attendance that NGIC is a premiere, one of a kind, organization responsible for providing critical and exquisite intelligence and analysis to multiple consumers around the world.
“NGIC supports so many – from our warfighting commanders at the tactical level, to enabling our joint forces and the Department of Defense across the globe, up to the strategic levels in support of our national policy makers," Bredenkamp said. "NGIC is at the core of Army intelligence and has an extremely complex mission set.”
In welcoming NGIC's new leader, Bredenkamp said, “We’re excited to welcome the NGIC Commander, Col. Eric Haas, to our INSCOM team. Eric is a well-known intelligence leader with a wealth of experience and a fantastic reputation. He and his wife fully understand the commitment and dedication to others and are here to serve,” Bredenkamp said. “Eric, I am confident that you will continue to build on the initiatives at NGIC and you will genuinely care for people. We welcome you into the family and know that you have the whole INSCOM team to support you and ensure your success.”
In her closing remarks, Bredenkamp thanked NGIC's team and the Charlottesville community members in attendance.
"Thank you for what you do and for supporting our Army, our nation, and INSCOM. I’m very proud to serve with you,” Bredenkamp said.
In his farewell speech, Rankin, who is moving on to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Technology and Long-Range Analysis Office, thanked the team for their support to the mission of saving Soldiers’ lives and protecting the homeland.
“Maj. Gen. Bredenkamp, you have continuously set the example to emulate, and your advice and direction were always warmly received. Thank you for the privilege to Command the National Ground Intelligence Center and thank you for underwriting the risk associated with moving at the pace of national security relevancy,” Rankin said. “The Center is often referred to as national treasure because of that level of expertise and knowledge which is focused on some of the world’s most complex national security problems. My personal and professional appreciation to all the selfless professionals of NGIC and for the often-unheralded contribution you make to safeguard and secure our national interests.”
During remarks by Haas, he thanked Rankin for his service and said that he looks forward to the opportunity of serving alongside the NGIC workforce.
“Chris, thank you for the superb transition and for helping to serve as a role model for how to build shared understanding,” Haas said. “I wish you and your family all the best as you transition to your new role.”
As alumni of Johnson Elementary School where the motto is ‘We Are Family’, Haas said it is an honor to part of the NGIC and INSCOM family and a real treat to be back in Charlottesville and a part of this vibrant community.
Haas said when he left Charlottesville nearly forty years ago, it seemed unfathomable that one day he could return to a place that had so many fond memories.
"I look forward to creating new memories here and am honored to be taking command of this incredibly professional and vital organization for not just the Army Intelligence Enterprise, but also the broader Intelligence Community,” Haas said. “I look forward to working alongside you during the next two years supporting modernization, innovation, and development, to ensure we recruit and retain a highly talented workforce that continues to create quality intelligence products.”
Located on Rivanna Station, Charlottesville, Va., with approximately 2,500 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors, NGIC provides all-source and foundational geospatial intelligence on foreign ground force capabilities and related military technologies while integrating with mission partners to ensure the U.S. Army, DoD, Joint, and National-level decision makers maintain decision advantage to protect U.S. interests at home and abroad in support of Army, Joint, and Coalition Commands and the U.S. Intelligence Community.