Gen. Markus Laubenthal is the first German officer to be assigned to US Army Europe. He is the command's new chief of staff. (US Army Europe)
Jul. 31, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)
BERLIN — A German army general has for the first time been appointed chief of staff to work with the commander of US ground forces in Europe, both countries’ militaries said Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal will serve as “the right-hand man” to Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., who commands more than 37,000 US Army Europe (USAREUR) personnel from headquarters in the central city of Wiesbaden, said Germany’s defense ministry.
“This is a bold and major step forward in USAREUR’s commitment to operating in a multinational environment with our German allies,” said Campbell in a statement on Laubenthal’s appointment starting next week.
After both countries had for years served together in Afghanistan, “sustaining the shared capability from this experience will benefit both US and German armies,” Campbell said in a statement.
Laubenthal, previously the commander of Germany’s 12th Armored Brigade, has also served as chief of staff for ISAF Regional Command North in Afghanistan and as a Kosovo Force assistant chief of staff.
The appointment comes at a time when Berlin-Washington relations have been tarnished by allegations of US spying on its ally, which led Germany to expel the CIA station chief earlier this month.