Story by: Capt. Kelly Schaad
RHINE ORDNANCE BARRACKS, Germany – Col. Avery J. Carney assumed command of the 519th Hospital Center from Col. Werner J. Barden during a change of command ceremony July 28 at Defender Field, Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
For two consecutive years, Barden oversaw the planning, deployment, and medical command and control of the Hospital Center as a part the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness exercises.
Under the leadership of Barden, the 519th Hospital Center finalized the force design update to the 519th Hospital Center Headquarters and converted the Combat Support Hospital to the Field Hospital structure.
In addition to fixed operational requirements, Barden simultaneously led the 519th response during several short-notice and no-notice missions including U.S. Army Southern European Task Force Africa NATO Rapid Response Force missions and Operation Allies Welcome.
Col. Anthony M. King, 30th Medical Brigade commander, presided over the ceremony.
King commented that Barden was the “driving force” behind a number of successful missions and training opportunities across the theater and remarked that 519th Hospital Center is the “Army standard for Expeditionary Healthcare.”
When welcoming Carney, King referenced MLB Hall of Fame pitcher, Satchel Paige’s pitching philosophy, “throw strikes, home plate don’t move.”
King advised Carney to “stay focused on home plate” even though, unlike the game of baseball, in military command the “home plate moves all the time”.
Carney leads the only forward stationed Hospital Center with the responsibility for providing expeditionary hospitalization, resuscitative and surgical capability, and meeting the increased health readiness requirements of U.S. European Command, USAREUR-AF, and U.S. Africa Command.
Originally from Chicago, Carney is a Specialist Corps officer and possess a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College and the Command and General Staff College.
Carney commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps in 2002 and was branch transferred to the Army Medical Specialist Corps following completion of the Army Medical Department Officer Basic Course.
His initial assignments were with Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Liberty, N.C.; 528th Combat Stress Control in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and commander, 601st Medical Company (Area Support) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Carney’s earlier assignments include: Battalion Physician Assistant, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment; Brigade Physician Assistant, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; Commander, 98th Combat Stress Control; Division Physician Assistant, 4th Infantry Division; Chief, Department of Medical Readiness, Evans Army Community Hospital; Division Surgeon, 4th Infantry Division; Commander, United States Army Health Clinic Grafenwoehr; and Director for the Fielded Force Integration Directorate at the Medical Center of Excellence, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
“Together we will continue to work across the enterprise to create and realize opportunities and deliver operational readiness alongside our partners and allies to ensure our nation’s victory,” said Carney.