The Mauricio Macri administration has named Brigade General Claudio Ernesto Pasqualini head of the Army, replacing Lieutenant General Diego Luis Suñer at the top of the hierarchy.
Suñer as well as the rest of the top Army brass with longer records than Pasqualini will now retire, as is standard practice.
Pasqualini until yesterday was head of the II Division of the Army, based in Córdoba. The new Army chief was born on July 23, 1960 in Córdoba and finished his officer training in 1982. A statement released by the presidency indicates that Pasqualini is a specialist in parachuting and operations in Andean settings. He has also been decorated by the militaries of Germany, Mexico, Brazil and the United Nations for his participation in peacekeeping operations.
Suñer was named Lieutenant general and head of the Army at the start of the Macri administration. Since then, there was a ministerial change as Oscar Aguad replaced Julio Martínez. Both Página12 and La Nación have reported that the change was going to take place at the end of 2017 but the disappearance of the ARA San Juan put those plans on hold. Vice-Admiral José Luis Villán is currently head of the Navy on an interim basis following the removal of Admiral Marcelo Srur (ret.). Any changes in the Air Force have yet to be announced.
The changes in the Army come on the heels of the decision for the military, and the Army in particular, to provide logistical support to police and security forces in cases of drug trafficking or terrorism within Argentina’s borders. The Army is expected to have a greater role in that support than the Air Force or the Navy.