NTC’s Operations Group has a new commander

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Outgoing Commander of the Operations Group, Col. Charles Lombardo, accepts the Legion of Merit honor from Commanding Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater at the Change of Command ceremony on June 14.

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Col. Charles Lombardo relinquished command of the Operations Group at the National Training Center (NTC)/Fort Irwin, to Col. Michael Simmering on June 14. The ceremony occurred at Freedom Fitness Center, with a reception that followed at the Operations Group Headquarters in building 990. Although the event was held inside the gym, protocol was followed for an outside ceremony. Simmering is now the 27th commander of the Operations Group (COG) at NTC.

Col. Lombardo came to the Operations Group in 2018 and formerly commanded the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Fort Bliss, Texas. Col. Simmering most recently served as the Brigade Commander for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, where he deployed for the Atlantic Resolve in support of U.S. Army Europe and Operation Spartan Shield for the U.S. Army Central Command. Simmering has a wife, Erikka, and four children.

Col. Michael Simmering, the new Commander of Ops Groups, speaks to a crowd after taking command at Freedom Fitness Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. (Annette Pritt, TASC)