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General overseeing Puerto Rico relief is Arizona graduate

Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, now overseeing the Pentagon's efforts to support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, is a University of Arizona graduate. Buchanan, named the primary FEMA liaison for the military last week, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology in 1982.

Buchanan, who served four tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan, was named the commander of the Fifth Army last year.

He has been tasked with coordinating military relief work with civilian authorities on the island, which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

Most of Puerto Rico's 3.5 million residents still lack running water and electricity, two weeks after the devastating storm.

There are about 5,000 active-duty troops and National Guardsmen taking part in relief work, including ferrying supplies. Buchanan's appointment came as the focus of operations shifted from sea-based work to land, Pentagon officials said.

From the Army's release about Buchanan assuming command of the Fifth Army in August 2016:

His duty assignments include command and staff positions within the 82nd Airborne Division, 25th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division and 10th Mountain Division. He also served as a company and battalion tactical officer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y; the director for operations (J3) of Joint Task Force Full Accounting, and the senior light infantry task force trainer at the National Training Center.

Buchanan served four tours in Iraq, and from 2003-2004 he was the Director of the Operations (C3), Coalition Military Assistance Training Team. Between 2004 and 2006, he commanded the 2nd Brigade, 75th Division (Mission Command Training) and deployed a second time to Iraq to serve as an advisor to the Iraqi Special Police Commando Division.

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Upon his return, he served as the U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) director of operations at Fort Sam Houston until November 2007. From 2007 through 2009, he served as 10th Mountain Division deputy commanding general, including a deployment to Iraq as the Multi-National Division-South.

Following an assignment as the G-3/5/7 for the U.S. Army Reserve Command, he returned to Iraq for his fourth tour as the director of strategic effects (J9), U.S. Forces Iraq, from July 2010 to December 2011.

Buchanan served as I Corps deputy commanding general from 2012-2013, and then commanded the U.S. Army Military District of Washington/Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region from 2013-2015. He most recently served as the Resolute Support DCOS-Operations/deputy commander (Operations) for US Forces-Afghanistan from 2015-2016.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik, who works in the UA's Athletic Department, noted Buchanan's Tucson tie in his weekly newsletter.

"Even with a Wildcat in charge, it's going to take years for them to dig out from the devastation," Kozachik said. "If you are inclined to offer your support, its important to know that there are scam 'agencies' soliciting donations. Work with ones that you know or check with FEMA to make sure you're sending your support to an agency that's on the up-and-up."

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Staff Sgt. Tomora Nance/U.S. Army North Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander of U.S. Army North (5th Army) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, in June.