Army General Michael Kurilla on his way to lead the US Middle East Command

President Biden will nominate the commander of the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps for promotion to four-star general and appoint him the next commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command.

Lieutenant General Michael E. Kurilla will replace Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, who is expected to retire after leading the Middle East-focused Centcom for three years, according to several news reports.

The U.S. military focus has shifted from the Middle East toward the Indo-Pacific region and identified China as its primary “pace challenge” going forward. Meanwhile, Russian troops continue to gather along the border with Ukraine, while relations with Moscow return to the level of the Cold War. However, the US presence in the Middle East continues with troops still operating in Iraq and Syria to counter Islamic State forces.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lieutenant General Kurilla will also be burdened with the aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a possible resurgence of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in his command area.

Lieutenant. Kurilla has a high level of experience with Centcom. He was its chief of staff before taking over the 18th Airborne Corps in 2019. He is also the former commander of the famous 82nd Airborne Division. The soon-to-be four-star general also conducted a tour as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, targeting Islamic State territorial defeats, army officials said.

Give a Comment