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    48th IBCT returns home

    48th IBCT returns home

    Photo By Capt. Michael Thompson | The 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Headquarters and Headquarters Company at New...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Michael Thompson 

    48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    NEW KABUL COMPOUND, KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Volunteer Brigade first took responsibility for Camp Phoenix in 2009, on their initial deployment to Afghanistan. They returned in 2014 as part of the Kabul base cluster mission to transfer Camp Eggers, Camp Phoenix, Camp Bala Hissar, and in northern Afghanistan near Mazar-e-Sharif, Camp John Pratt.

    The Georgia National Guard, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team recently transferred command from the New Kabul Compound to the Oregon National Guard, 2-162 Infantry Battalion who will continue the security missions in Kabul. Both citizen Soldier units are known as the “Volunteers,” dedicated to their profession to leave their homes, jobs and families to serve their nation.

    “This, I don't need to tell you, was not a decisive point in the campaign, this was the decisive point,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U. S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), to 48th IBCT leaders during a visit to NKC to thank them for their service in Kabul. “Everything we have sacrificed over the past 13 years is coming together right now to determine whether our endeavor here is going to be successful.”

    Over the past nine months, Task Force Volunteer performed in many capacities to support ISAF, ISAF Joint Command (IJC) and USFOR-A, all while regularly partnering with the Afghan National Security Forces. The broad attendance at the transfer ceremony spoke to the positive impact for which the Volunteers are known. The 48th IBCT was supported by the U.S. Army Reserve 302nd Military Police Company and the 2nd Battalion of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

    Task Force Volunteer provided critical base operations support to USFOR-A and coalition partners for several base camps, security for the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, training missions spread across five regional commands, and force protection throughout Train-Advise-Assist Command-Capital.

    As part of their initiative, the Volunteers consolidated backscatter X-ray vans to train Afghan National Police and Afghanistan National Army soldiers, and deployed the scanners to the Gates of Kabul to enable protection of Afghan and coalition lives during the Afghanistan elections.

    “Without exception, every time I have had the opportunity to interact with Task Force Volunteer, I have come away impressed,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Colt, deputy commander-support for USFOR-A. “I credit this to the men and women that comprise this outstanding task force. Their service to both our Nation and Afghanistan is unsurpassed.”

    The base support groups led some of the largest and most complex transfers of installations to date. Camp Eggers was first to complete transfer to the U.S. State Department in March 2014. Camp Bala Hissar transferred to the Afghan National Army August 17, 2014. Camp Bala Hissar’s partnership with the Afghan Capital Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was pivotal in helping leverage intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms to monitor key routes and checkpoints of Kabul. On Aug. 19, 2014, the largest base in Kabul, Camp Phoenix, transferred to the Ministry of Interior and will be used to consolidate several offices in one location. The transition of Camp Phoenix was impressive in effort, for scale and for reaching completion a month before deadline.

    The initiative, ingenuity and teamwork of the 48th IBCT helped develop and document effective procedures for unit base transfers across Afghanistan.

    The exceptional command team focused and synchronized a broad spectrum of operations with Afghan National Security Forces to enhance security, improve force posture and assure mobility throughout the capital, while maturing an effective operational relationship with the Afghan Capital Division and Police. These partnerships have impacted more than 14,000 Afghan National Police.

    State partnerships with coalition forces continued overseas with Albanian and Georgian forces to enhance Afghanistan's election audit security which facilitated the safe and secure delivery of over 18,000 ballot boxes from North Kabul International Airport to the International Election Committee compound without incident and closely worked with partners to enhance checkpoint capabilities for the IEC facility.

    “So a true, joint, team, cooperative effort,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, IJC commander, speaking to Task Force Volunteer at the NKC awards ceremony in August 2014. “It is because of all of you that we as a coalition are successful here.”

    As the task force returns home, all of the Volunteers carry a deep sense of pride for accomplishing tough and diverse jobs across Afghanistan. The 48th IBCT will arrive home to families Sept. 16 and host a special welcome home ceremony Nov. 7 in the city of Macon as part of Veterans Day.



    Date Taken: 08.27.2014
    Date Posted: 09.15.2014 21:03
    Story ID: 142216
    Hometown: MACON, GA, US

    Web Views: 532
    Downloads: 0