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German general takes key post in US Army Europe

BERLIN -- A German army general has for the first time been appointed chief of staff to work with the commander of U.S. ground forces in Europe, both countries' militaries said Thursday.

Brigadier General Markus Laubenthal will serve as “the right-hand man” to Lieutenant General Donald Campbell Jr., who commands more than 37,000 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

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