News: New Provincial Reconstruction Team Arrives in Farah, Afghanistan
Story by 1st Lt. Mark Graff
FARAH, Afghanistan - U.S. Navy Cmdr. Shane Voudren assumed command of Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah from incumbent U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joseph Bozzelli at a Transition of Authority ceremony here, July 2.
With service members from the incoming and incumbent team assembled in formation, Bozzelli officially transferred authority of the unit’s mission to Voudren through the Navy tradition of reading each commander’s respective orders.
“After completing our training and receiving turnover from our predecessors, I am fully confident that PRT Farah will continue to operate at a steady pace. We must focus on picking up where the previous team left off and continue to work with our Afghan counterparts to further the progress already made in Farah,” said Voudren.
PRT Farah’s mission is to support the provincial-level government of Farah on issues including governance, economic development and security. In order to do so, the team will conduct a variety of missions to provincial districts, key leader engagements with village officials and frequent interaction and communication with government officials.
In the last week, members of the incoming and incumbent team have worked side-by-side to ensure that operations remain fluid as the new team prepared to take charge. Each rotation of PRT Farah operates in the province for nine months.
“We are excited for these nine months. We built our team and prepared for this mission for more than three months at Camp Atterbury (Ind.). As soon as we put boots on the ground, we knew it was ‘go time,'” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Mark Mason, PRT Farah’s senior enlisted advisor.
PRT Farah, a joint unit comprised of service members from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force and civilians, operates from Forward Operating Base Farah, outside of Farah City, the provincial capital.