Williams takes reins of SETAF/U.S. Army Africa
By Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
VICENZA, Italy – Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II relinquished command of U.S. Army Africa to Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams today during a ceremony on Hoekstra Field. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, Commanding General of U.S. Africa Command presided over the change of command ceremony.
“Under General Donahue’s leadership, Army Africa worked with the first Regionally Aligned Force and helped ensure its success,” Rodriguez said.
“When the regionally aligned force is training, exercising, or enabling partners, U.S. and African soldiers benefit from enhanced skills, interoperability, and readiness. The regionally aligned force also supports the protection of U.S. personnel and facilities on the continent.
Rodriguez praised Donahue’s leadership of USARAF.
“Another way the U.S. Army is transforming to meet the challenges of the 21st century security environment is by developing leaders who can work effectively with a broad range of partners,” he said.
“This includes partners from other countries, government agencies, and military services. Army Africa has deepened partnerships with African and European militaries, with civilian agencies, and with other Service components,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez welcomed Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as the incoming USARAF commander.
“As Pat and Maureen Donahue depart for Army Forces Command, they pass leadership of the Army Africa team to Major General Darryl Williams and his wife Erin. I know the Williams’ will continue to lead this team superbly. Thank you all for your continued contributions to advancing our nation’s interests in Africa. We will go forward, together," Rodriguez said.
Williams offered thanks for the opportunity to serve as USARAF’s commander.
“Gen. Rodriguez, sir, thank you for having confidence in me and giving me an opportunity to command this great organization of Soldiers and Civilians.
"Pat, the work you have done with the U.S. Army Africa team has made great changes in Africa. I am honored and humbled to follow in your footsteps; and look forward to the challenge. Erin and I want to thank you and Maureen for the warm welcome.” Williams said.
“USARAF’s mission on the continent of Africa could not be more relevant than it is today. The team of professionals you have assembled is proving each day how valuable they are to the mission. I look forward to working alongside these fine men and women,” Williams said.
Donahue thanked the Soldiers and Civilians of the USARAF team and emphasized their accomplishments during the past two years.
“I am amazed at everything the Soldiers and Civilians of this small Headquarters have done in the last two years,” Donahue said. “USARAF has blazed new trails for the Army with how we employed regionally aligned forces. A brigade combat team, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansa became available to us in April of 2013. The brigade combat teams from Fort Riley have allowed the Army to provide General Rodriguez with a relevant and ready force with Soldiers who understand Africa and processes the skills required to train African peacekeepers and build institutions,” he said.
Williams comes to USARAF with a wealth of Army command and staff experiences.
Williams graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as a field artillery officer in 1983. His military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., earning a Master of Military Arts and Science. Williams earned a Master of Science degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
Williams commanded units at company, battalion and division levels. His service as a staff officer includes tours at battalion, brigade, division, corps, and Headquarters Dept. of the Army levels. After serving as the 1st Armored Division Artillery commander he deployed to Iraq and served as the unit’s fires and effects coordinator. Upon redeployment, Williams served as the deputy director for Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7 and commanding general, U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command and the Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition.
Donahue has been nominated for the rank of lieutenant general with assignment to Forces Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.