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Former Division CG named Okinawa Area Coordinator

Date Posted: 2005-05-16

Major General Joseph Weber is about to pin on a third star and assume responsibilities as Okinawa’s top Marine.

Weber, the former commander of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa, will soon become the Commanding General III Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Courtney. He’ll also wear hats as commander of Marine Corps Bases Japan and commander of Marine Forces Japan.

President George Bush has selected Lieutenant General Robert Blackman, the current III MEF commander, to be the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Atlantic, commanding general of Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Europe, and commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces South. Blackman’s appointment will require senate confirmation. He will replace Lt. Gen. Martin R. Brandt. Blackman arrived on Okinawa in July 2003, replacing Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson.

Marine Corps Forces Atlantic, based at Norfolk, Virginia, is one of the Marine Corps’ three principal commands, organizing forces for deployment under Unified or Joint Task Forces. It’s combat arm is the II Marine Expeditionary Force with its 45,000 troops in the 2nd Marine Division, the 2nd Force Service Support Group and the 2nd Marine Air Wing.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in nominating Weber for promotion to lieutenant general and to become the new Okinawa Area Coordinator, said Weber’s experience both as a former division commander and now as chief of staff for the Multinational Force in Iraq, makes him highly qualified for the sensitive Okinawa position.

Weber left Okinawa last September for the Iraq posting.

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