of the United States Central Command.
The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) is a theater_level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Its area of jurisdiction is in the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Persian Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Forces from CENTCOM currently are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have bases in Kuwait, Qatar, the Oman, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia in the past, although no substantial forces are based in those countries as of 2004.
CENTCOM's commander is General John Abizaid, who took command on July 7, 2003, replacing General Tommy Franks. His chief of staff is Major General R. Steven Whitcomb. Lieutenant General Lance L. Smith is the Deputy Commanding General.
Unlike many of the other American unified commands, CENTCOM's headquarters is not within its area of operations. It is at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida, although a forward headquarters has relatively recently been established at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar.
No fighting units are directly subordinate to this command; rather, the five sub-units are:
- U.S. Army Forces Central Command
- U.S. Central Command Air Forces
- U.S. Marine Forces Central Command
- U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
- Special Operations Command, Central
(or, respectively: ARCENT, CENTAF, MARCENT, NAVCENT, and SOCCENT).
|List of CENTCOM commanders |
|Robert C. Kingston ||January 1, 1983 ||November 27, 1985 |
|George B. Crist ||November 27, 1985 ||November 23, 1988 |
|H. Norman Schwarzkopf ||November 23, 1988 ||August 9, 1991 |
|Joseph P. Hoar ||August 9, 1991 ||August 5, 1994 |
|J.H. Binford Peay III ||August 5, 1994 ||August 13, 1997 |
|Anthony Zinni ||August 13, 1997 ||July 6, 2000 |
|Tommy Franks ||July 6, 2000 ||July 7, 2003 |
|John Abizaid ||July 7, 2003 ||present |