News: Combined Team Uruzgan transitions to Australian adviser control
Story by Sgt. Ashley Curtis
MULTINATIONAL BASE TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - Command authority for Combined Team Uruzgan transitioned from the control of the Indiana National Guard’s 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Australian leadership, led by Australian Army Col. Simon Stuart, at Camp Holland, Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, Oct. 18, 2012.
The transition of authority also marks the movement of Uruzgan’s team from a mentorship relationship with the Afghan National Security Forces to an advisory one. The team regularly conducts partnered operations with the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade of the 205th Hero Corps and Uruzgan’s Afghan National Police.
This new role indicates a milestone in the gradual transfer to full Afghan control of the region, as security continues to transition from the International Security Assistance Force to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Australia will now control the team’s 24 subordinate units from Australia, the United States, Slovakia and Singapore, in their partnership efforts with Afghan allies.
“[We’re] four different countries with one goal,” said Col. Gerald E. Hadley, outgoing CTU commander, “to help bring peace and prosperity to Uruzgan, a goal that we have seen much progress toward.”
Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, commanding general of CTU’s superior command, Regional Command (South), recognizes the team’s efforts and believes the area has a bright future.
“The selection of a leader of Col. Stuart’s caliber is indicative that the coalition’s effort remains strong, if not stronger, than ever before,” Abrams said. “Afghanistan will stand on its own, but not alone, as the international community will be there with them.”
Stuart said he fully believes in Australia’s ability to take the reins.
“I am privileged to have the opportunity to lead and serve alongside such a dedicated and professional team,” he said.
Uruzgan is Australia’s primary effort in Afghanistan, and carries the bulk of its ISAF troop contribution. The country has been operating in the region since 2006, and has been a major contributor in the team’s effort since its inception in 2010.