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    3/25 hands over widespread authority to 1/23



    Story by Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr. 

    Regional Command Southwest

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Marines of 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment officially took over a wide variety of operations throughout Helmand province from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment during a transfer of authority ceremony here, March 19.

    Lt. Col. Lawrence J. Kaifesh, battalion commander of the Ohio-based 3/25, transferred his authority to Lt. Col. Russell Todd Zink, battalion commander of the Texas-based 1/23.

    During their seven-month tour, 3/25 Marines carried out a mixture of operations throughout Helmand province that ran the gamut of the counterinsurgency doctrine. Although a large portion of 3/25 was dedicated to providing security at Camp Leatherneck and surrounding areas, the rest of the Marines were spread throughout several areas in Helmand province, including Sangin, Marjah and Delaram.

    The guest speaker of the ceremony was Col. Michael M. Sweeney, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group commanding officer.

    “I don’t think many people truly understand what the battalion assigned to this mission does on a day-to-day basis,” Sweeney said. “It’s a very complex mission. It’s a broad mission, and in some extents, it’s broader than an infantry battalion out in a different [area of operations]. They are responsible for an awful lot.”

    Sweeney praised the 3/25 Marines, who he described as “silent professionals,” for a job well done in their ability to maintain security at Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion.

    “The fact that there have been no security issues aboard Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion is a testimony to the leadership of the battalion under Lt. Col. Kaifesh and Sgt. Maj. Altieri,” Sweeney said. “But the credit really goes to the young men standing before you. They do their jobs extremely well, but there is not a lot of fanfare associated with the fact that people can go about their day-to-day business without any interruptions.”

    Kaifesh thanked the many coalition partners he and his Marines worked with during the deployment. Without the strong partnership with British, Afghan, Bahraini, and Tongan forces, he believes that the tour would not have been so successful. He also extended his gratitude toward his Marines for their hard work.

    “The more I looked at the mission, the more I realized that this is a complex mission requiring a complex solution and multiple partners,” Kaifesh said. “As for the Marines of 3/25, in spite of my own bias, they were awesome. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

    Zink pledged to continue the complex, but necessary work of 3/25 during his unit’s stay in Afghanistan.

    “I think 3/25 has done great work here, and I look forward to continuing what they’ve done,” Zink said. “I want to thank them for a very good [replacement-in-place] that led us to this day for the transition of authority, and I wish them the best of luck and safe travels back to Ohio.”



    Date Taken: 03.19.2011
    Date Posted: 03.19.2011 11:52
    Story ID: 67359

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