The chief of staff for Army Pacific will assume command of Army Alaska next week.

Maj. Gen. Peter B. Andrysiak will take over after a ceremony at Pershing Field, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, on Tuesday, July 16, service officials said in a release.

Andrysiak will replace retiring Army Alaska commanding general, Maj. Gen. Mark J. O’Neil.

Prior to his stint with Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, Andrysiak commanded Army Alaska’s 2nd Engineer Brigade, including during a combat rotation to Afghanistan in 2015 in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Army Alaska is a subordinate command to Army Pacific and the ground element of Northern Command’s Alaska forces.

The command, headquartered near Anchorage, supports theater engagement across a slew of regions, encompassing the Indo-Pacific and Arctic domains as well as Alaska itself.

Army Alaska also provides trained and ready forces for global unified land operations, including combat rotations in Afghanistan.

The command plays a key role in U.S. homeland defense strategy and has become increasingly important in an era when the four-star general in charge of both U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command believes "the homeland is no longer a sanctuary.”

Andrysiak is a West Point graduate with a bachelor of science in civil engineering. He also obtained a master of science in environmental and water resources engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a master of science in national security strategy from the National War College.

Upon commissioning as a second lieutenant, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers.

Throughout his roughly 29-year career, Andrysiak has held several leadership positions, including deputy commanding general of operations at the 25th Infantry Division, commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Pacific Ocean Division, and chief of staff for the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Andrysiak has deployed in support of Operation Support Hope, Rwanda in 1994; Operation Desert Thunder, Kuwait in 1998; two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and 2006 to 2007; two tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011 and 2014; and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan in 2015.

His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with two bronze oak leaf clusters.

Over his career, he earned the Combat Action Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.

Alaska is home to two infantry brigade combat teams, a combat aviation task force, enabling echelon above brigade units, and Reserve component troops.

Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks, Alaska, is also the location of the Northern Warfare Training Center, a cold weather and mountain warfare school.

Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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