BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The 82nd Division Special Troops Battalion, Task Force Gladius, relinquished responsibility of the Parwan province area of operations to 1st Battalion, 172nd Cavalry Squadron, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Morgan, during a transfer of authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield, March 29.
The 82nd DSTB, TF Gladius, has been the battle space owner of the Parwan province and support element to Combined Joint Task Force - 82 since May, 2009. They are returning to their traditional role, supporting the Combined Joint Task Force staff, before eventually redeploying to Fort Bragg, N.C. this summer.
TF Gladius consists of ten companies with over 1,750 servicemembers. Those Soldiers have conducted support and sustained combat operations in and around Bagram Airfield, Parwan province and 22 other locations across Regional Command – East.
“Task Force Gladius has demonstrated why they have a reputation as great unit,” said ceremony guest speaker, U.S Army Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Culver, 38th Infantry Division assistant division commander maneuver.
“These Soldiers conducted over 1800 combat patrols encompassing 36 indirect fire incidents’ and 15 ‘troops-in-contact’ incidents,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Chris L. Eubank, 82nd DSTB, TF Gladius commander.
“Task Force Gladius killed, wounded or captured more than 30 (insurgents) including the disruption of two targeted enemy indirect fire cells in Parwan and the capture of five bombers from the January Kabul bombings,” Eubank added.
These actions resulted in TF Gladius Soldiers receiving more than 110 Combat Action Badges, 66 Combat Infantry Badges, four Combat Medic Badges, four purple hearts and numerous valour and service awards.
TF Gladius has also made significant steps in fulfilling the Provincial Development Plan throughout their area of operations.
Gladius has incorporated 104 projects – worth a total of $120,000,000 – and guided the distribution of 20 tons of humanitarian assistance, Eubank said. All this was done in partnership with the civilian leadership of Parwan.
In addition, TF Gladius has partnered with Afghan National Security Forces in all nine districts of Parwan.
“These Soldiers not only fought alongside our Afghan counter parts, but also trained with them on a daily basis,” Eubank said.
Culver referred to TF Gladius’s most evident example of their successful partnership.
“Most notable in this partnership was the coordinated response with the Parwan (Operation Control Center – Prevention) and the Afghan government’s ability to synchronize medical support, security and logistic support for the people at the Salang Tunnel Avalanche Site,” Culver said.
This included the evacuation, medical care and humanitarian assistance to more than 300 victims of the Feb. 8 avalanche that left 64 dead.
This is what our partnership is all about, support to the Afghan people, and TF Gladius has gone above and beyond to provide that support, Culver said.
At the capstone of a year-long mission, Eubanks summarized the measure of their success by the work of his Soldiers.
“The soldiers of TF Gladius have accomplished much during their past year in Afghanistan,” said Eubank. “Because of the efforts of these men and women, we leave Parwan province a better place.”
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