FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Pretty soon, the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell's commanding general, Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, won't be seen around post.
Instead, Volesky will deploy to Iraq with his staff and 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters to advise and assist Iraqi forces.
In his place will be Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, someone who knows Fort Campbell rather well.
Brower, a former commander of the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, will serve as the post's senior commander during the deployment.
"Over 90 percent of the division is going to remain here," Volesky said during Tuesday's Honor Eagle ceremony welcoming Brower. "We need a confident and reliable leader to sustain mission readiness and take care of our soldiers and families while we're deployed."
The incoming senior commander brings with him almost 10 years of prior experience at Fort Campbell. Brower was first assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group from 2001 to 2004 and returned to serve as a commander of the group's 3rd Battalion in 2006. He then assumed command of the entire group from 2011 to 2013.
Brower most recently served as the chief of staff for Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and then deployed to Islamabad, Pakistan.
He said Tuesday even though his family isn't from the area, they've spent so much time here that they now call it home.
"While Jennifer Sterling (his wife) and I were born and raised in the great state of New Jersey, we have truly come to call Fort Campbell, Kentucky, our home," Brower said. "The communities of Hopkinsville, Oak Grove, Clarksville and the surrounding areas are where we raised our children; Fort Campbell, Sango, Rossview, Richview Middle School, University of Kentucky and Austin Peay State University are the schools where we educated our children."
When the division deploys next month, Fort Campbell will be in Brower's command. Meanwhile, the 101st will take over command in Baghdad from the 82nd Airborne Division. The mission will focus on advising and assisting Iraq's forces in the fight against the Islamic State group.
Last month, Volesky characterized the deployment as "one of the most complex" he's had in 32 years of service.
"The conditions there on the ground are much different than they were when we left in 2011," Volesky said in December.
With 90 percent of the troops at Fort Campbell, including its brigade combat teams, remaining on post, Brower shouldn't have any shortage of things to do.
"It's truly an honor to be here," he said. "What I plead to you is 101 percent of my commitment and effort to raise soldiers, families and the Fort Campbell community while I'm here."