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Army North News Feed
NEWS | Sept. 29, 2023

Task Force 51 commander relinquishes command

By Spc. Noelani Revina Army North

Task Force-51 held a change of command ceremony at the Quadrangle on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Sept. 29 as Maj. Gen. William J. Prendergast relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Scott M. Sherman in a ceremony officiated by U.S. Army North Commanding General Lt. Gen. John R. Evans. 

Task Force-51 is U.S. Army North’s contingency command post and is the first to deploy in support of Defense Support to Civil Authority and establish ground operations under U.S. Northern Command’s area of responsibility. The task force is designed to mobilize rapidly in support of the lead federal agency during a disaster or emergency response. 

“Task Force-51 through Army North brings the capacity and capability of the Department of Defense to help end human suffering,” said Prendergast. “That is what Army North does.” 

Prendergast held multiple positions to include Task Force-51's commanding general and the deputy commanding general for sustainment and Army National Guard for U.S. Army North.  

“It’s so rewarding to have been a part of this organization,” said Prendergast. “It's hard to say rewarding because, unfortunately, when we’re at our best, America is at its worst. But I truly thank everyone in their support for Task Force-51.” 

Now under Sherman’s purview, Task Force-51 coordinates U.S. Army North’s federal response when requested by the state after a disaster occurs. The task force may serve in various roles such as homeland defense, theater security cooperation, and acting as a deployable joint command post. 

Sherman previously served as the director of the joint staff for the Colorado National Guard where he led responses like the COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts, Colorado’s Marshall Fire of 2021, and Freedom Shield exercises. His extensive leadership experience allows U.S. Army North to continue strong in being ready to respond to a disaster. 

“Whether it be Defense Support to Civil Authorities or homeland defense, this organization is critical,” said Sherman. “It’s important that we’re always ready to answer the nation’s call and protect the communities and citizens of our nation.”