LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Jason Merchant, the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman from Dysart, Iowa, hands out cards Dec. (click for more)
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Lauren Hyman of Texarkana, Texas, armored vehicle driver for the 64th Military Police Company based at Combat Oupost Fortress, says hello to an (click for more)
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Taylor Gingrich, an infantry officer from Cedar Falls, Iowa, with Task Force Ironman, draws a smile from an Afghan boy as Gingrich (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Brian Stowe, a human resources specialist from Elkmont, Ala., with Task Force Knighthawk, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, sings a ballad he wrote and (click for more)
PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and French military chiefs conduct a briefing before deployment during a security operation. Afghan National Security Forces and French Task Force Richelieu conducted Operation Montevideo (click for more)
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Phil Compton, Doty, Wash., Panjshir PRT engineer, and PRT local Afghan engineer Abid Wardak check the structural integrity of the retaining (click for more)
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan family looks at their new family member after she was delivered by the Polish Army medical team at Forward Operating Base Warrior Jan. 3. (click for more)
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, maneuver through Sabari District during patrols to disrupt insurgent activity in the (click for more)
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Fouste, Decatur, Ill., noncommissioned officer in charge of the Freedom Restoration Center with the 455th Expeditionary Wing, Task Force Med, plays with (click for more)
U.S. Army Col. William Roy, Task Force Wolverine commander, presided over the ceremony, where U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Curtis E. Velasquez of Abilene, Kan., relinquished command to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael J. Sierco of Bowie, Md.
Transfer of authority ceremonies are traditional events rich with symbolism and honor. For centuries, organizational flags have been created as a way to depict the heritage and history unique to a specific unit. The key to a transfer of authority ceremony is the casing and uncasing of the colors. As one unit’s flag is cased, the other is revealed, signifying the transfer of authority from one commander to another.
In the presence of many distinguished guests, including French Brig. Gen. Jean-Francois Hogard, Task Force La Fayette’s commanding general, Roy expressed his pride in the outgoing team’s success.
“The intent was to finish strong, and you’ve done exactly that,” said Roy. “Now you can return home with your head held high, knowing what you’ve done for the people of Afghanistan.”
During the ceremony, three servicemembers received the Bronze Star for their service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Bronze Star is awarded to members of the armed forces for their meritorious service, personal courage and commitment to mission accomplishment while serving in a combat zone under the most extreme of circumstances.
The Army Commendation Medal was also awarded to six individuals for their service in support of OEF.
The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces who, while serving with the Army, distinguish themselves, either in combat or non-combat action, by meritorious achievement or service.
In his parting words, Velasquez reflected on the many accomplishments made by his team and expressed how honored he was to have worked with them all.
“Together we fostered a partnership focused on the highest standards of excellence,” he said.
Velasquez also welcomed Sierco, encouraging him and his team to continue working toward a more prosperous future for Afghanistan.
Upon assuming command, Sierco expressed gratitude for the outgoing team’s hard work, dedication and determination.
“You have set the conditions for my team to be successful,” said Sierco. “We have trained hard and now it is our turn to execute.”
“I’m confident we are ready for the mission ahead of us; facilitating local and provincial governments of Afghanistan working together to help provide for the development and security needs of the Afghan people,” said Sierco.
|< Prev||Next >|
|Afghan forces, TF Bastogne continue operations in Sherzad District|
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Bastogne, continued operations in the Sherzad District Jan. 8 clearing the village of Toto of insurgent fighters to reinforce a foundation of security in the area.
|TF Iron eliminates insurgent IED team|
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers form Task Force Iron Rakkasan and members of the Afghan Uniformed police, using the Precision Threat Detection System blimp at Forward Operating Base Andar, identified a group of insurgents with weapons and explosives Jan. 3.
|TF Iron Rakkasan uses PTDS to prevent highway robbery|
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Recently, Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rakkasan watched a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police conduct an illegal checkpoint on the route between Ghazni and Sharana. Using the camera system on the Persistent Threat Detection System, Soldiers observed a man standing in the road collecting money from vehicles. The practice is common by insurgents who fund their attacks by taking money from locals.
|Joint operation helps clear Sherzad of insurgent activity|
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from Task Force Bastogne began operations in the Sherzad District Dec. 23.