Gen. David Petraeus’ first official trip as head of the US military’s Central Command will be to Pakistan, the Tampa Tribune reports. Petraeus was sworn in today at MacDill Air Force base, in Tampa, taking over from Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey. Petraeus’ new responsibilities at Centralcom include planning in 80 countries from Egypt to Kazakhstan, including Iraq, Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Petraeus would be in charge of “thwarting the malevolent designs” of terrorists and “keeping them from our shores.” Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Michael Mullen praised Petraeus’ record in Iraq, the Los Angeles Times adds. “His watchwords—learn and adapt—have echoed from the streets of Baghdad to the halls of Washington,” he said. Petraeus takes off for Pakistan tomorrow.