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    New BAF commander ‘eager’ to get started

    New BAF commander ‘eager’ to get started

    Photo By Sgt. Steven Peterson | Col. Christopher Sam Houston passed the guidon and command of United States Forces -...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Kap Kim 

    Combined Joint Task Force 10

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Forces-Afghanistan’s Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Colt presided over the Garrison Bagram change of command ceremony July 21, 2014, where Col. Christopher “Sam” Houston handed over command to Col. Stephanie Gradford.

    The BAF Garrison is responsible for the day-to-day base operations of nearly 23,000 service members and civilians from multiple countries and branches and is the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.

    “None of these vital services are remotely possible without the collective effort of an especially talented group of civilians and service members in the Garrison,” said Colt. “This team produces incredible results every day.”

    Houston, who took command last September, spent his time on Bagram following instructions laid out by the Regional Command-East commander to making the base harder, safer and smaller.

    “Resolute Support Mission was a mere whisper at this point,” Houston said.

    Since then, the BAF Garrison has worked with various units tasked with force protection of the Bagram Security Zone and has vastly improved BAF’s safety and security and an active indirect fire defense system.

    Houston gave much of the success of scaling down the base footprint to many of the other tenant units on the base.

    “Garrison could not have done this on our own,” he said. “Every tenant on Bagram played a hand in working with us …”

    Gradford, who took command just as the mission in eastern Afghanistan transforms to what Houston and his team had spent the previously working on, came to Bagram from Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

    Gradford said her initial impression of the team she has inherited was that of being “impressed” with the amazing accomplishments and hard work done daily.

    She said she understands how much work will go into the next phase of the Afghan mission of Resolute Support and is “eager” to get started.



    Date Taken: 07.21.2014
    Date Posted: 07.21.2014 07:54
    Story ID: 136699
    Location: AF

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