‘BRO’ assumes mission in Afghanistan
Maj. Gen. William Mayville, and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Sasser Jr., command team, Combined Joint Task Force-1 and the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, unfurl their division’s campaign colors during a April 19 transfer of authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. In the ceremony, the 1st Inf. Div. replaced the 1st Cav. Div. as the command authority for RC-East.
By Sgt. Roland Hale RC-EAST PUBLIC AFFAIRS
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The 1st Infantry Division, known as the "Big Red One," took charge of military operations in eastern Afghanistan April 19 in a ceremony at Bagram Airfield.
In the ceremony, the division assumed command authority of Regional Command-East from the 1st Cavalry Division. The latter is returning to Fort Hood, Texas, after its yearlong tour.
Operating as Combined Joint Task Force-1, the 1st Inf. Div. will command and control operations throughout RC-East, an area roughly the size of Virginia, which includes 14 provinces, 7.5 million Afghans and 279 miles of a mountainous Pakistan border.
Building on the success of its predecessors, Combined Joint Task Force-1 will continue to work hand-in-hand with the Afghan government and Afghan national security forces to bring security, development and governance to the region.
Maj. Gen. William Mayville, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley and Combined Joint Task Force-1, gave a brief address during the ceremony.
"Our mission over the next year is to maintain the momentum of this campaign, relentlessly pursuing insurgent networks, assisting Afghan efforts to assert sovereignty along the border and accelerating the development of the ANSF," Mayville said.
To tackle this mission, Combined Joint Task Force-1 wields a joint fighting force of more than 32,000 coalition troops. Its arsenal includes five U.S. brigade combat teams, as well as troops from nine NATO countries.
One of the division's most important joint-endeavours, however, is its partnership with the ANSF, according to Mayville.
"The Afghan (national) security forces are growing and maturing at a rapid rate," Mayville said. "Governance, combined with the growing security environment, has limited the Taliban's ability to exert their negative influence. Still, we know this is a tough fight. But it is a fight we will win due to our strong partnership with our Afghan (national) security forces."
In addition to its military partnership with the ANSF, Mayville's Combined Joint Task Force-1 team will work closely with civilian agencies to promote the possibility of long-term success in the region.
U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson, coordinating director, development and economic affairs, Kabul, Afghanistan, attended the ceremony and gave a brief interview about the future of the civilian-military partnership in RC-East.
"The model (civilian-military) integration here is unlike any we've seen before," Olson said. "The military's strides in security, along with its joint work with (Provincial Reconstruction Teams), has given us the ability to focus on governance and development here. We've contributed a lot to Afghanistan in the last 10 years. Now the challenge is to make sure the Afghan people have the capacity to continue these successes and projects after 2014."