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    Joint Task Force North Welcomes New Commanding General



    Story by Maj. Tyler Quillico 

    Joint Task Force North

    FORT BLISS, Texas – Joint Task Force North transitioned leadership as U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr. relinquished command of JTF-N to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Matthew D. Smith during a change of command ceremony Dec. 14 at the JTF-N headquarters, Fort Bliss, Texas

    Lt. Gen. A.C. Roper, deputy commanding general, U.S. Northern Command, served as host for the ceremony that was attended by military, government, academic, and community leaders. “It’s a special honor,” said Roper, “because what we just did there took about 10-seconds, but what it symbolizes means a lot more.”

    Roper praised both Simmons and Smith, both of whom served most of their careers with the Georgia National Guard. He thanked Simmons for his “tireless efforts and sacrifices” and welcomed Smith to U.S. Northern Command. “DoD always sends us world-class leaders, and I can say the State of Georgia continues to send us world-class leaders…and today is no exception.” said Roper.

    Commissioned as a field artillery officer in 1992, Simmons took command of JTF-N on Nov. 9, 2020. During his remarks, he reflected on his time in command and the organization’s character.

    “As I reflected on the mission and the past two years, I thought about what we did the first six-months after getting here compared to the last six-months and how different the mission is now,” said Simmons. “Joint Task Force North has proven itself to be an adaptable, learning organization capable of accomplishing great things.”

    The change of command also marked the end of 30 years of uniformed military service for Simmons. He took the opportunity to thank the many people within JTF-N, the military, government agencies, and the El Paso community for their support. During his speech, Simmons extended his thanks and praised many individuals and organizations by-name, including National Guard leaders, Customs and Border Protection, and the University of Texas at El Paso. “There are so many more to thank, it is almost overwhelming,” said Simmons.

    Smith was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1993. Prior to assuming command of JTF-N, he served as the Vice Director of Operations at The National Guard Bureau J-3/4/7 in Arlington, Virginia. Smith was promoted to Major General during a separate ceremony on Dec. 13, 2022.

    During his remarks, Smith praised Simmons, whom he served with on multiple occasions during his career. “You’re a wonderful predecessor,” said Smith. “It sure is nice to take over from someone who led a well-running organization amid a significant transition…and you negotiated that [transition] masterfully.”

    Joint Task Force North (JTF-N) is a joint service command comprised of active-duty and reserve component servicemembers, Department of Defense civilian employees, and contracted support personnel. Based on Fort Bliss, Texas, Joint Task Force North supports mission partners’ Counter Transnational Criminal Organization efforts in the U.S. Northern Command’s Area of Responsibility in order to protect the homeland.


    Date Taken: 12.14.2022
    Date Posted: 12.19.2022 12:23
    Story ID: 435470
    Location: FORT BLISS, TEXAS, US

    Web Views: 315
    Downloads: 1