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NEWS | Jan. 29, 2018

Army North’s Task Force-51 gains new commander

By Sgt. 1st Class Shelman Spencer U.S. Army North Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. John F. King assumed command U.S. Army North’s Task Force-51 from Maj. Gen. Brian C. Harris during a change of command ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) at the quadrangle at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Jan. 26.


TF-51 is Army North’s contingency command post and conducts a Defense Support of Civil Authority, or DSCA, homeland defense and theater security cooperation in order to promote the defense and security of the United States.


“Brian has done a phenomenal job over the last couple of years, through numerous exercises,” Buchanan said. “He’s been our lead for the Vigilant Guard series of exercises in every state.


TF-51 coordinates federal response when requested by the state where a disaster occurs. The federal forces and equipment augment the state’s National Guard and other agencies.


“To the Soldiers and Civilians of Task Force-51, I want to thank you for your hard work, devotion to our mission, to each other and to me,” Harris said. “You’re one of the finest corps of Soldiers that I’ve ever served with and I’m proud to call you my comrades and my family. I’ll miss bragging on your accomplishments and skills as noncommissioned officers and officers.”


Harris is slated to work as the National Guard advisor to the combatant commander at U.S. Northern Command.


“I bring a great sense of humility to this job, I’m now going to be able to follow my passion, not only serving in our Army, but serving our communities and our nation – it is a tremendous honor,” King said as the new TF-51 commander.


King’s previous assignment was a dual-hatted position, serving as the Director of Joint Staff, Georgia National Guard and the deputy commanding general for the Army National Guard at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga. As Director of Joint Staff, he managed programs and operations supporting more than 15,000 Soldiers, Airmen and civilians.


Under the command of Maj. Gen. King, TF-51 will continue to plan, prepare and exercise for disasters – manmade or natural in order to serve the people of the United States when they need help the most.