The latest leadership turnover within the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria brings continuity, more than change, officials said, as a veteran of the campaign returns to command its next stages.
Lt. Gen. Pat White assumed command of Operation Inherent Resolve from Lt. Gen. Paul LaCamera in a ceremony in Baghdad on Saturday.
White commands the Army’s Fort Hood, Texas-based III Armored Corps, and LaCamera leads the service’s XVIII Airborne Corps based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., both of which have been trading off command of the coalition for the past several years.
Both headquarters have “created an unstoppable momentum” in the anti-ISIS fight, said Marine Gen. Kenneth E. McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, who presided over the ceremony.
“Despite the leadership changes, the campaign moves on without pause, and that is by design,” McKenzie said, as quoted in an a statement.
White assumes command at a challenging time amid heightened tensions with Iran in and other regional tensions.