Boeblingen, BW, Germany --
BOEBLINGEN, Germany - Marines, Sailors, and civilians from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa took part in a change of command ceremony today to mark the appointment of their new commander at their headquarters.
Major General Patrick J. Hermesmann assumed his duties as the incoming commander, receiving the headquarters' organizational colors from the outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Russell A.C. Sanborn, at a ceremony on the Devil Dog Field at MARFOREUR/AF's Panzer Kaserne headquarters.
Sanborn, who commanded MARFOREUR/AF since July 2017, presided over several initiatives that grew the headquarters as a dynamic warfighting institution, to include increasing NATO capacity for allied amphibious operations; enhanced naval and amphibious integration into plans, operations, and exercises; the expansion of the Marine Corps cold-weather and mountain-warfare rotational training presence in Norway's high north; and responsibility for U.S. forces participating in Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the largest NATO military exercise since the end of the Cold War.
"It has truly been my privilege to serve with the outstanding Marines, Sailors, civilians, and families of MARFOREUR/AF," said Sanborn. "Looking back at my thirty-three years of service, I couldn't be prouder of all of you, for who you are, and what you have done."
Hermesmann, who recently relinquished command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Korea reiterated the outgoing commander's high praise for his Marines and challenged them to push themselves even more to face tomorrow's challenges.
"MARFOREUR/AF has clearly shown that we can train, deploy, and operate Marines throughout Europe and Africa who are ready to respond to crises in any clime and place," said Hermesmann. "I know that our Marines will continue to live up to the high standards we have set, and will continue to raise the bar through tough, realistic training, and by maintaining their warrior mindset."