By Cte. José Luis Cristobal Barcón
Regional Command-West Public Affairs
QALA-E-NOW, Afghanistan – The “BRIPAC” (Spanish Paratroopers Brigade) relieves the Spanish Legion on the lead of the mission that Spanish army has been carrying out in the Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Badghis province, for the seven years.
Col. Demetrio Muñoz Garcia, Commander of the Legion Unit "Tercio Don Juan de Austria", has handed over the command of ASPFOR (The Spanish mission in Afghanistan) this morning to Col. Luis Cebrian Carbonell, second in command of the Paratrooper Brigade "Almogávares VI." The relief has been performed with a military parade, held at 'Ruy González de Clavijo' Base, in the town of Qala e Naw, provincial capital of the Spanish responsibility province of Badghis.
The event was chaired by the Deputy Head of the NATO Joint Command in Afghanistan, and also Spanish Head, Division General Javier Taberné. Among other attendees were the Head of Regional Command West, Italian Brig. Gen. Luigi Chiapperini, Mr. Jam Arman, governor of the province, and the general in command of the Third Brigade of the 207 Afghan Army Corps.
After five months of work, ASPFOR XXX leaves Afghanistan with the satisfaction of having succeeded in extending the Lithium route "Light Path", despite the hostile insurgency, pacifying the area around the Command Outpost of Darah i Bum, already handed over in responsibility to Afghan Army, and also consolidating the supremacy in the areas of Moqur and Ludina COPs, establishing them as safe areas of the province.
The security transition goes on satisfactorily in the province of Badghis, as two districts have just been handed over to the Afghan government, Qala i Naw and Ab Kamari.
The Spanish Paratrooper Brigade begins mission with a high experience performing duties in Afghanistan, as it is the fifth time serving in the Country, having gone through Mazar e Sharif, Kabul, Herat and Qala i Naw.
Col. Cebrian, stressed in his speech "We will continue from the begining, consistent to the commitment of Spain, within ISAF, to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in its effort to establish a legitimate State authority and to protect the population in the province of Badghis."
The event ended with the signing of the official books, and the fraternal embrace between both heads of contingent, the incoming one, and the relieved one, embarking on the plane that would take them to Spain.