As of Wednesday afternoon, Army North has a new commander. Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins took the helm at 5th Army Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, immediately after receiving his promotion.
The lengthy list of dignitaries included Gen. Edward Rice of the Air Education and Training Command, along with commanders from numerous major command centers around the country, and commanders from Sedena, the Mexican Army.
Gen. Charles Jacoby, Jr., Joint Commander of the North American Aerospace defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said Wiggins takes over at Army North after spending almost three years in its service – and he knows its mission well.
"Defending our homeland, supporting our citizens in times of their greatest needs, and working with the professional militaries of our North American neighbors," Jacoby said. "I also want to note that we’re just one week out from the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our homeland. As I reflect on how far we’ve come since that fateful day, I’m captured by the notion that once again we must commit ourselves that we can never, ever let this happen again."
Wiggins, who has made more than 20 trips to visit military installations in Mexico, said he’s looking forward to interfacing with both Canada and Mexico for a North American defensive effort.
"Unfortunately, in most cases, to drive that quickly, it takes the identification of a threat," Wiggins said. "So we’re fortunate in the fact that we don’t necessarily see that right now. But I can tell you that the Mexican (commanders), having talked to them, are very interested in developing a cooperative defense piece as well."
Wiggins follows Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, IV, whose father also commanded Army North, in his last assignment in the Army.
Caldwell heads to Georgia to become president of Georgia Military College.