News: 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment transfer of authority
Story by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan – The 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment (Combined Task Force 2-23), from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., ended their successful tour in Afghanistan with a transfer of authority ceremony July 13, 2013 here.
The “Tomahawks” deployed as part of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and conducted missions in southern Afghanistan in support of Regional Command (South) and the International Security Assistance Force.
During their nine-month deployment the Tomahawks executed six named operations, fired 269 motor rounds, killed or captured nine insurgents, retrograded more than $100 million of equipment and enabled over 3,000 contact hours between Security Force Assistance Teams and Afghan National Security Forces.
“Our mission was to train, advise, assist and enable the Afghan National Security Forces,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas M. Feltey, the commander of 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Regt. “Let there be no doubt that we have tangible and irreversible gains in our area of operations on all fronts.”
“The relationships we have forged have created a sense of confidence among the Afghans allowing them to stand on their own,” said Feltey.
Ready to build on the relationships nurtured by the Tomahawks, the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment “Centaurs” from Fort Knox, Ky., uncased its colors to signify taking control of the area and continuing the mission of supporting the local ANSF as they grow into full independence.
The ANSF in this area have displayed a high level of independence and capability and the Centaurs came trained and prepared to carry on the relationships that have proven critical in maintaining stability, said Lt. Col. Henry I. B. McNeilly, commander of 1st Bn., 6th Field Artillery Regt.
“The majority of forces here are capable of doing things on their own and I think that’s fantastic,” said McNeilly. “The Tomahawks did a fantastic job before us of setting those conditions. We have to just get them to the next level where they can continue to perform that way.”
As the Tomahawks return home after completing their mission the Centaurs start a new chapter by continuing to assist the Afghans as they create a safe environment.