News: Ready First transfers major Kandahar City base to Afghan Uniform Police
Story by Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus
CAMP NATHAN SMITH, Afghanistan-- The end of July did not just mean one less month for Ready First troops in Afghanistan, it also meant a major milestone in the transition of American forces out of the country.
The former brigade headquarters, Camp Nathan Smith, was transferred to the Afghan Uniform Police – one more example of the confidence the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has in its police and soldiers.
“CNS has served as a headquarters to ISAF forces for eight years, beginning in 2005 with Canadian forces and since July 2010 for U.S. brigades and the Department of State’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams,” said Col. Ken Adgie, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division brigade commander, and a native of National Park, N.J..
Capt. Job Freedman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, and a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, served as the camp mayor for six months.
“I coordinated … the transfer of the camp to the government of Afghanistan,” said Freedman. “We began the planning process in February and the execution in May. We had to make sure all of our equipment was recovered from CNS and we had to prepare all of the buildings and remaining equipment.”
The AUP, who took ownership already, had a quick reaction force at the camp, and they intend to move two more companies here, said Freedman. The Afghans also plan on making a school for women on the camp, as well as use all existing facilities, including laundry.
While basic infrastructures were left behind, including generators and a working fuel point, the AUP will be entirely self-sufficient at CNS, indicating the logistical support Afghans have for their own sustainability.
“It is now their responsibility to supply the camp so they can run those facilities,” said Freedman.
“Its location in the heart of Kandahar City allowed ISAF forces to quickly respond to enemy attacks during the early years (of the war); more recently as Kandahar City has become peaceful it purpose changed to a place for meetings to discuss city governance, developmental projects, and the training of policeman occurred,” said Adgie. “We will certainly miss our Afghan neighbors who lived near CNS, and the children who waved to us each day as they walked to school.”
“They [AUP] expressed how grateful they were for the help that American and ISAF forces have done for them in helping build up their country,” said Freedman. “They feel ready to take over the cSamp and continue the mission of securing the province of Kandahar and making sure it’s safe.”
A ceremony lowering the American flag and raising the Afghan flag was held July 31, with the handful of Soldiers who remained at the camp until the end.
“Camp Nathan Smith's transfer to the Kandahar Police is another great step forward for southern Afghanistan,” said Adgie.
Date Posted:08.15.2013 22:45
Location:KANDAHAR PROVINCE, AF
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