U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend has taken the helm as commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve at a a transfer of authority ceremony held Sunday.
DoD News reported Sunday Townsend, the commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps, has succeeded former commander Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, head of the III Armored Corps, to lead the U.S. military campaign agains the Islamic State militant organization.
DoD noted the counterterrorism efforts have led to the addition of 5,000 trained local police and over 20,000 tribal fighters as well as more than 13,500 trained members of the Iraqi security forces that include Iraqi soldiers, counter-terrorism service soldiers, Peshmerga, federal police and border guards.
The team has also conducted 50,000 counter-IS group sorties along with 200 strikes against oil and natural gas activities.
Townsend’s appointment was announced in July by Defense Secretary Ash Carter along with the news that 560 troops would be deployed to help Iraq’s security forces.