By Skip Vaughn, USAG Redstone October 6, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- This product of a military family says he's happy with his newest affiliation.
Maj. Gen. Del Turner has become the commander of the Army Security Assistance Command. On Sept. 30 he succeeded Brig. Gen. Chris Tucker, who retired after 32 years of service.
All four of the Turner brothers graduated from West Point; and their father was also in the Army. Two of the brothers are retired and two, including Turner, are still active.
"I'm very honored to be here," Turner said. "It's a great opportunity. I look forward to joining the USASAC team and the USASAC family."
He served as the program manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program, a USASAC subordinate command, from August 2009 until this assignment.
"It's a great honor," he said of assuming command here. "It's a very important command in what is a growth business, a growth area, in the Army and actually across DoD. It's very important at this time in that foreign military sales is growing through the roof."
USASAC, which has a motto "the Army's face to the world," manages foreign military sales, a program that has grown by billions of dollars in the past four or five years.
"My message to the (USASAC) work force is that they really represent the United States and our values. It's more than just the Army's face to the world," Turner said. "Obviously they're doing a very good job at it."
He commanded the Army's Developmental Test Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., from 2006-08. In that capacity, he sometimes visited the Redstone Test Center and said he was impressed with its dedicated work force.
In managing foreign military sales, USASAC represents the Army and the Army Materiel Command to 155 nations around the world.
USASAC worldwide has 855 people, including 584 civilians, 199 military and 72 contractor employees. Stateside this includes the Redstone headquarters, New Cumberland, Pa., Fort Belvoir, Va., and the Security Assistance Training Management Organization for a total of 586. The Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabia National Guard has 269.
"I have a lot of learning to do," Turner said. "I know it's going very well. General Tucker has done an extremely good job of commanding USASAC."
At 55 from Alexandria, Va., Turner has 34 years of service. He and his wife, Michal, have four grown children. Their daughter Tara Stratton is married to an Air Force F-15 pilot, Johnny Stratton, and residing in Williamsburg, Va. Their daughter Tonia Horton is married to Capt. Matthew Horton and residing at Fort Hood, Texas. Their son Capt. Frank Turner, of the Corps of Engineers, is in Afghanistan. Their daughter Elizabeth Norton is married to Staff Sgt. George Norton, a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga.
Turner enjoys "just about any sports." He runs and works out.
"Haven't had a lot of time for hobbies these days," he said.