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    RSC-N says farewell to former commander, welcomes new

    RSC-N says farewell to former commander, welcomes new

    Courtesy Photo | Army Brig. Gen. Tom Cosentino, deputy commander, Regional Support, NATO Training...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    NATO Training Mission Afghanistan

    By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Andriacco
    Regional Support Command-North/NTM-A Public Affairs

    CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan - Regional Support Command - North bid a fond farewell to Army Col. Paul Calbos, RSC-N commander, when he relinquished command to Army Col. Robin Fontes in a change of command ceremony July 7, at Camp Mike Spann, near Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.

    Honored guests included Army Maj. Gen. James Mallory III, deputy commanding general, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and Brig. Gen. Tom Cosentino, deputy commander, Regional Support, NTM-A/CSTC-A, coalition forces commanders and local Afghan National Security Forces commanders.

    Prior to the ceremony Mallory and Cosentino awarded Calbos the Legion of Merit, one of the highest military decorations for outstanding service and achievement, and the Afghan Campaign and non-Article 5 NATO medals.

    "Paul Calbos came here almost a year ago with very few men, and carved a command out of the dirt in northern Afghanistan," Cosentino said. "And he did it with love in his heart for the people of this country. He's served here before; he looks upon all of you as his brothers as he's done his mission, which is to build the capacity of the Afghan army and police to protect the people of Afghanistan."

    Cosentino also said that he sees the resolve of the Afghan people and the enemy will never prevail. Coalition forces will not fail because peace is the mission of the people of America, Afghanistan and all civilized people of the world, he said.

    When Calbos spoke, he did so with emotion in his voice for his partners in his mission, both subordinates and coalition forces, and the people who helped him accomplish it.

    "Thank you all for coming to this change of command ceremony," Calbos said. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the many who made this past 13 months so rewarding for me. It has been the highlight of my career to come here to work alongside you in this great endeavor. You will make it, you will win this war."

    Calbos then recounted several milestones of his tour as RSC-N commander, and spoke about how the team was able to overcome them. He thanked his ANSF partners and complimented them on their dedication to the mission of transitioning security for the country to ANSF responsibility and how well they are accomplishing it.

    Mallory also spoke of the mission and Calbos's contribution to it.

    "Colonel Paul Calbos as the [RSC-N] commander has done a superb job in working to support all of the infrastructure builds as well as establishing the training institutions for both the army and police that service the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police formations," he said. "That is the key to transition and the long-term sustainability of the Afghan National Security Forces."

    After some much needed and deserved rest and reintegration into life stateside, Calbos will move on to his next assignment, serving on the Army Staff at the Pentagon until his retirement in Spring of 2012.

    Fontes, the new RSC-N commander, thanked the official party for joining her in honoring Calbos before addressing her new command for the first time during the ceremony.

    "It is a privilege for me to be entrusted with command of this highly professional and talented and motivated unit today," she said. "I do not take this responsibility lightly."

    Fontes will command RSC-N for approximately one year before she holds a ceremony of her own, and moves on to her next assignment.

    Fontes enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1981 before she attended the U.S. Military Academy. In 1986, she graduated from USMA and was commissioned into the Military Police Corps.

    Fontes has also attended Foreign Area Officer training, Defense Language Institute Training in Russian, and the University of Washington where she received her master's degree. She is also a graduate of the George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch, Germany.

    Fontes served a tour as the U.S. military representative to Tajikistan followed by a move to the position of Defense and Army Attaché to Tajikistan. This was followed with a tour as the U.S. Central Command political-military affairs officer for Central Asia and Afghanistan.

    She also deployed to Afghanistan as chief of political-military affairs, Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan. Fontes also served as commander of the Provincial reconstruction team Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.

    After departing Afghanistan, Fontes attended the National War College and was a 2007 graduate. She then served as chief of the Security Assistance Office in the Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan before reporting to NTM-A/CSTC-A, RSC-N.



    Date Taken: 07.07.2011
    Date Posted: 07.10.2011 04:35
    Story ID: 73496
    Location: CAMP MIKE SPANN, AF 

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