By Staff Sgt. Cladio R. Tejada, V CorpsJanuary 19, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany (Jan. 19, 2012) -- U.S. Soldiers, civilians and host nation leaders welcomed V Corps' new commander during a ceremony in the Wiesbaden Fitness Center, Jan. 10.
Lt. Gen. James L. Terry assumed command of V Corps from Brig. Gen. Ricky Gibbs, acting commander since June of 2011, when the unit moved here from Heidelberg.
"It is truly an honor and privilege for Julie and me to be joining the Victory Corps in Wiesbaden, Germany," said Terry, referring to his wife, who was also in attendance.
"Let me assure you, this is deja vu -- almost to the day we arrived in Frankfurt 33 years ago," Terry said recalling his only other tour in Germany, when as a lieutenant, he and his wife were posted in Kitzingen.
"This is where we started, and it is truly great to be back," he said.
During the ceremony, a salute battery shot a thunderous 15-gun salute before Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe commander, passed the corps' colors from Gibbs to Terry.
"Let me recognize the outstanding Soldiers in this formation today," Terry said. "These Soldiers are our credentials."
Terry, V Corps' 57th commander, who comes to the corps after commanding the 10th Mountain Division, thanked members of the Wiesbaden military and civilian communities and state of Hessen for the warm welcome given to V Corps Soldiers and their families.
"As commander of V Corps, my purpose is to train and lead it to join the NATO mission in Afghanistan this summer," he added.
"I can't think of a better location to be than in the United States Army in Europe among our NATO friends and allies," Terry said.
The new commander emphasized that the corps will to continue develop its staff and build it into a high performing headquarters that, with other NATO members and coalition partners, will form the next ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan.
V Corps Soldiers have been training and transforming the unit into a modular corps headquarters since June, when the Corps uncased its colors in Wiesbaden.
Gibbs, who will continue to serve the unit as deputy commander, expressed his appreciation of the corps' Soldiers and their families for their contributions and dedication while standing up the corps. He also recognized the steadfast support by the state of Hessen and the Wiesbaden community as V Corps made the transition from Heidelberg.
"We all consider Wiesbaden our home, and this is due in large measure to the wonderful way you continually reach out to our American Soldiers and their families," Gibbs said. "Your support has been unconditional and we will never forget all that you have done for us and the Victory Corps. Thank you, and to our other European military allies, for your sustained support, friendship, and partnership."
"In August we celebrated V Corps uncasing," said Hertling, "and we celebrated the corps rising like a phoenix from the ashes.
"The Army needed this corps again," he said, "and now in front of us we see a corps headquarters well on its way to being a mission command organization that will help finish a tough and very demanding fight."
When transformation and manning of V Corps is completed, the corps will have more than 700 members and will be one of the four modular U.S. Army corps headquarters available to deploy worldwide, capable of providing command and control to combined, joint and international forces.
V Corps headquarters has been permanently stationed in Germany since June 1951 and has participated in several modern day conflicts to include the Persian Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and recently Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more photos related to this event www.flickr.com/photos/wpao/sets/72157628808504075/