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Standing-up the Fires Center of Excellence.

By Fires staff

Fort Sill marked another milestone on the Base Realignment and Closure highway. During the month of June, the duties of the chief of the field artillery and commandant of the FA School transferred from Major General Peter M. Vangjel to Brigadier General Ross Ridge. Also during June, Major General Howard B. Bromberg transferred authority of the duties of chief of the air defense artillery and commandant of the ADA School to Brigadier General Roger F. Mathews.

Ridge had been assistant commandant of the Field Artillery School; Vangjel had been commandant and Fort Sill commander. Bromberg was commandant of the ADA school and commander of Fort Bliss, Texas. Mathews recently transferred from Commander of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. These transfers of authority are related to moving the Air Defense School here from Fort Bliss to prepare for the evolution of the FA and ADA Centers into the Fires Center of Excellence.

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Under the new arrangement, the commandants will be responsible for their respective schools and will be the branches' chief proponents in the Army. They also will supervise the respective branch training curriculum for the NCO Academy. "Our future lies in the professional education of our officers and NCOs," Ridge said at the FA TOA.

The current restructuring is just the beginning of laying the foundation needed to make sure future leaders have the knowledge needed to succeed in the myriad of missions placed before them, Ridge said.

The NCO Academy, as well as Basic Training, will be under the supervision of the Fires Center of Excellence staff. The Fires Center will integrate the systems and resources of the FA and ADA, including personnel, and is charged with finding the necessary resources to complete all missions and tasks.

Field artillery. During his tenure from September 2007 as the chief of FA and commandant, Vangjel addressed many challenges facing the FA during an era of persistent conflict. Realizing the FA was de grading in its core competencies, he charged the school leadership with redesigning current courses and designing new courses to "re-Red" the Artillery.

"Our field artillerymen are the perfect prototypes for getting it done, despite risking skills atrophy," said Vangjel at the FA TOA ceremony. "We are turning that around."

He also, along with MG Howard B. Bromberg, chief of ADA, accomplished the collocation of the FA and ADA schools and centers to create the Fire Center of Excellence. Vangjel remains the commander of Fort Sill until this summer when he will take command of Third Army, U.S. Army Central.

Vangjel has served as the Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, F-3/5/7, in Washington, DC. Vangjel, commissioned through the University of New Hampshire Reserve Officer Training Corps, has commanded units at every level from battery to corps artillery encompassing several weapons systems in the FA arsenal.

He has served on multiple operational deployments, including Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Kosovo and Operations Iraqi Freedom I and II. His staff assignments include tours at the Pentagon on both the Joint and Army staffs. He holds two master's degrees, one in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National Defense University, Washington, D.C., and one in Administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Before assuming his new duties as chief of FA and commandant of the FA School, Ridge served as the chief of staff, Strategic Effects Directorate, Multi-National Force, Iraq. He also served in the Republic of Korea as the executive officer to the commander, U.N. Command/ Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces, Korea; chief of staff of the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Red Cloud; and as the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery at Camp Stanley.

Ridge served as the deputy commander for Operations Group, National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.; commander of 2-8 FA, attached to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; and as the chief, Lethal/Nonlethal Effects Branch within the Training and Doctrine Command Brigade Coordination Cell responsible for the Army's new Stryker brigade combat team, at Fort Lewis, Wash.

He also served with the Joint Interagency Task Force--West in Alameda, Calif., where he was forward deployed to Bangkok, Thailand, as the officer-in-charge, U.S. Pacific Command Counternarcotics Forward Detachment responsible for U.S. Department of Defense counter-drug support for Southeast Asia.

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He deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy, where he served as the Brigade Civil-Military Officer for Port-au-Prince.

Ridge has a master's degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in Strategy from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Parnitz, Pa.

Air defense artillery. Bromberg was the chief of ADA and commandant of the ADA School since January 2008. In addition to the moving of ADA School to Fort Sill and standing up the Fires Center of Excellence with Vangjel, he and his staff developed a vision and campaign plan for the ADA's future. His continuous communications with the ADA community cemented the knowledge and understanding of what moving to Fort Sill means to them and the ADA's future.

Previously, Bromberg was the chief of staff for U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He has served as the deputy director, Force Protection and Director, Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization, J-8, the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

Bromberg was the commanding general of the 32nd Army Air Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, Texas with duties as the deputy area air defense commander, Coalition Force Air Component Command and Operation Enduring Freedom, Saudi Arabia; deputy area air defense commander, Joint Forces Air Component Command and Operation Noble Eagle, Fort Bliss; deputy area air defense commander, Coalition Force Air Component Command, Kuwait; and deputy area air defense commander, Coalition Force Air Component Command, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.

He also has served as the operations officer for the Defense Branch, J3, the Joint Staff, in Washington, DC; the deputy commanding general, USAADASCH and Fort Bliss; and the commander, 11th ADA Brigade at Fort Bliss. He will remain the Commanding General of Fort Bliss, focusing on the post's growth and the readiness of the Forces Command units assigned there.

In addition to his new duties as chief of Air Defense Artillery and commandant of the Air Defense Artillery School, Mathews will oversee the move of the ADA School units, personnel and equipment to Fort Sill.

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Previously, Mathews served as the commanding general, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He also served as deputy commanding general for Operations, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; assistant commandant/deputy commander, U.S. Army ADA Center and Fort Bliss, Texas; and chief of staff, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss.

He has served as the commander of 69th ADA Brigade, V Corps, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; and deputy commander, U.S. Patriot Joint Task Force, Operation Iraqi Freedom; joint air defense operations/planner, Joint Warfighting Center, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

He also served as commander, 4th Battalion, 3rd ADA, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany and Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and operations officer, later deputy, operations branch, later chief, Operations Division, later deputy director, J-3/5, Joint Task Force 6, Fort Bliss, Texas. He holds a master's in Administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
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Title Annotation:Transformation: the Fires Center of Excellence
Publication:Fires
Date:May 1, 2009
Words:1264
Previous Article:Air Defense Artillery School moves to Fort Sill.
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