VICENZA, Italy (August 3, 2012) -- Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg relinquished command of U.S. Army Africa to Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II during a ceremony on Hoekstra Field.

Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commanding General of U.S. Africa Command presided over the change of command ceremony.

"This change of command culminates two years of Dave Hogg's exceptional leadership, vision, dedication, and diplomacy. Gen. Hogg led U.S. Army Africa as they transformed, supported contingency operations, and conducted over 200 engagements per year with our African partner nations. Under his leadership, U.S. Army Africa's exemplary performance exceeded all my expectations," Ham said.

Ham praised Hogg's leadership of USARAF.

"During Dave's tenure, the headquarters transitioned from the Southern European Task Force to the Army Service Component Command supporting U. S. Africa Command. This transition was not just a name change but a refocusing of the command from a tactical, contingency-focused headquarters to a regionally focused Theater Army Headquarters," Ham said.

"Under General Hogg's leadership, U.S. Army Africa stood up the Contingency Command Post, a rapidly-deployable system capable of supporting joint, multinational or Army operations. Dave also led the command to its first ever formal joint task force certification. This new capability is of great value to U.S. Africa Command and expands the response options to emerging events on the African continent," Ham said.

Ham welcomed Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue as the incoming USRAF commander.

"I am happy to welcome General Pat Donahue and his wife Maureen. Pat and Maureen come to the U.S. Army Africa family from the Training and Doctrine Command where he served as the director for concept development and learning at the Army Capabilities Integration Center and later as their deputy chief of staff. Pat has a great reputation, having commanded at all levels and I know he will continue the level of excellence that has become the standard of U.S. Army Africa.

"The exuberance which Pat exhibited upon notification that he would command in Vicenza gives me all the confidence that I need to know that he is happy to be here and ready to lead the great Soldiers of USARAF," Ham said.

Donahue reports to the U.S. Army Africa after serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff, for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

"I promise to continue the great Army support MG Hogg has provided AFRICOM over the last two years as a regionally focused Theater Army. I will continue to focus assigned Army forces and capabilities to establish a secure environment and protect the national security interests of the U.S. on the African Continent.

I look forward to partnering with African Armies to strengthen their capabilities as well as the capacity of Africa's regional organizations. We will remain ready here in Vicenza to respond with decisive action to any contingency that may emerge. I am glad that we will be exercising those capabilities this month," Donahue said. We wish to thank Maj. Gen. and Mrs. Hogg for making this command such a vibrant, happy, and capable organization. Dave and Martina, Maureen and I wish you continued success as you assume duties in NATO.

To the Soldiers and civilians of U.S. Army Africa and SETAF and our Italian hosts. I am most impressed by what I have seen so far and look forward to serving with you here in Italy and throughout the continent of Africa. Hogg thanked Ham for his support both North and South of the Alps and emphasized how rare it is to have been part of a new organization within the U.S. Army.

"The men and women of USARAF's hard work is much appreciated, and this command would not be where it is without it," Hogg said. "This has been a good assignment; actually, he said it has been a 'great' assignment working with a superb garrison team, a fantastic community, top-notch dental and medical teams, and our Italian partners."

Donahue graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as an infantry officer 1980. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Ranger School, Air Command and Staff College, and the United States Army War College. He was an Olmsted Scholar and studied at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from USMA, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the Army War College.

Donahue commanded airborne, air assault and mechanized infantry units at the company, battalion and brigade levels. His service as a staff officer includes tours at the battalion, brigade, division, corps, Headquarters Dept. of the Army and combatant commander levels. After serving as the 2nd Infantry Division G3, he became the Commander of Operations Group B, Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and led the Army's prewar mission rehearsal exercises. Donahue then became attached to V Corps as Chief of Future Operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After departing Baghdad in May 2003, Donahue took command in June 2003 of Coalition Task Force Devil (1st Brigade 82d Airborne Division) in Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He later deployed the brigade to Iraq in January 2004 and once again to OEF VI in 2005-2006 where he commanded Regional Command East and conducted counterinsurgency operations out of Khost, Afghanistan.

Hogg has been appointed to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as the U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee, Belgium.