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    3d Cavalry Regiment hands over last major US base in southeast Afghanistan



    Courtesy Story

    3d Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office

    By U.S. Army Maj. Joseph Grande
    3d Cavalry Regiment

    LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Oct. 23, 2014) – The American flag slowly lowered in the mid-morning sun, as the Afghanistan flag proudly elevated on a parallel flagpole on Tactical Base Shank, Afghanistan. The transfer of authority ceremony, Oct. 23, 2014, marked not only the end of 3d Cavalry Regiment’s TB Shank retrograde, closure, and transfer mission but also a critical moment in the Afghanistan National Security Forces’ fight to deny safe havens to transnational terrorists and protect the Afghan people of Logar province.

    The 3d CR’s Regimental Support Squadron, led by Lt. Col. Michelle Donahue and Command Sgt. Maj. Angela Rawlings, spearheaded the retrograde, closure, and transfer mission.

    The squadron worked from mid-June to the end of October executing an array of tasks. TB Shank was the third largest U.S. base in Afghanistan at the time, housing nearly 5,200 personnel. The execution of retrograding equipment, tearing down structures, building others up, redeploying troops and contractors, and clearing the base of debris and trash was no simple task. The RSS also had to ensure the logistical efforts on the base and in the neighboring forward operating bases were sound as well.

    “Our mission had many facets; in one aspect, we provided sustainment advisors to the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps on FOB Thunder,” said Donahue. “For another, we had the US logistical support mission for much of RC-East, and then there was the monster of transferring Shank to 4th BDE/203rd Corps.”

    The RSS efforts not only facilitated the transfer mission to completion but saved the U.S. government tens of millions of dollars by prioritizing the retrograde of specialized housing tents, aviation runway matting, and assorted military equipment from TB Shank to Bagram Airfield. The remaining equipment, such as generators, air conditioners, furniture, buildings, and shipping containers were transferred to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan via the Foreign Excess Personal Property and Foreign Excess Real Property programs. The FEPP/FERP process took a great deal of manpower with inventories, paperwork, and ultimately transferring the equipment; however, the end result was well worth the effort: the Afghans will assume a functional operating base to immediately continue the war against transnational terrorists.

    The conclusion of the American’s TB Shank Mission and the expansion of the ANA’s 203rd Corps’ mission Oct. 23, 2014, did bring mixed emotions for the U.S. Soldiers present at the TOA ceremony. On one hand, a tangible show of progress in Operation Enduing Freedom was strong and present. On the other, the memories of units such as the 3d Cavalry Regiment, the 82d Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division, and the 101st Air Assault Division were noted to certainly to fade without the opportunity to revisit TB Shank “en masse to re-stir” lost moments.

    The TOA ceremony brought mixed emotions from the Logar Provincial Governor, Niaz Mohammad Amiri, as well.

    “We’re sorry to see the American’s leave, but we are proud of the friendships we have made,” said Governor Amiri during the ceremony.



    Date Taken: 10.23.2014
    Date Posted: 11.02.2014 06:00
    Story ID: 146766
    Location: AF

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