News: 'Spartans' transfer authority to 'Sky Soldiers'
Story by Pfc. Michael Sword
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- In a ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Shank, Sunday, Dec. 20, the "Spartans" of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, handed over control of their area of operations to the "Sky Soldiers" of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based out of Vicenza, Italy.
"As we say farewell to Spartan, we welcome back the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team to Combined Joint Task Force - 82 and RC-East battle space," said Maj. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - 82.
Scaparrotti highlighted some of the achievements of the 3rd BCT.
"Working side-by-side with Afghan partners, you protected the southern gates of Kabul, improved the infrastructure at the provincial and district levels and extended the reach of good governors throughout both provinces," he said.
"While much has been done through Task Force Spartan, there's still plenty of work to be done," he added.
However, Scaparrotti is confident that the 173rd will continue where Task Force Spartan left off.
"I look forward to the outstanding support the Sky Soldiers bring to the fight," he added, "It's an honor to serve with you again."
Col. David B. Haight, commander of the 3rd BCT, followed Scaparrotti noting the accomplishments of his soldiers during their time in Afghanistan.
"With our Afghan army and police brothers, we planted our guidons in the heart of the enemy territory. We dominated our battle space and established permanent presence in 10 districts, across two provinces, that have become dangerous sanctuaries for the enemy," he said.
Haight also mentioned the progress made in the two provinces during the Spartans' year-long deployment.
"We allocated almost 50 million dollars in development of roads, transportation, governance, water sanitation, health and education," he said. "All in an attempt to connect the people with their government and help them understand the work and progress made on their behalf."
Haight then turned his attention to the commander and soldiers of the 173rd ABCT.
"Colonel Johnson and Command Sergeant Major Rolling, I could not be more confident in the success you will realize during the coming year," he said. "Your unit is disciplined, well trained, well led, and enthusiastic about the mission and that may be the most important thing."
"I am confident that you will prevail and greatly improve upon what has been established here in this battlefield," he added.
Recognizing the hard work and progress made by the 3rd BCT, Col. James Johnson, commander of the 173rd ABCT made a final promise to the Spartans.
"You have set the high standard for us to follow, and we will do our best," said. "We will ensure that the sacrifice of Task Force Spartan was not made in vain."