News: Afghan, US, French discuss force shifts
By U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Thompson
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S., French and Afghan security officials met, Nov. 13, to discuss the realignment and reorganization of combined forces, here, throughout the province.
“We have to adapt to the situation,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commanding general with Regional Command-East. “The mission has not changed and what we are doing at this time is discussing how we adapt to the changing environment. We all have a common objective; with open and transparent dialogue we will accomplish our objectives much faster."
This was the first meeting between French Army Brig. Gen. Jean-Pierre Pallasset, Task Force Lafayette commander, and Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Abdullah, 201st Corps ANA commander, since Pallasset took command, Oct. 15.
French troops of TF Lafayette, located in Kapisa province, mentor ANA soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 201st ANA Corps and officers of the 202nd Afghan Uniformed Police.
With the transition of French troops, having begun in October of this year, and U.S. forces slated for a 2014 withdraw from Afghanistan, ANA Maj. Gen. Abdullah agreed the Afghan and ISAF need to continue working shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve their goals.
“ANSF and ISAF truly are a very good team,” said Abdullah. “I promise you that the close relationship that we have had with TF Lafayette will continue.”
The discussion focused on the reorganization of the French partnership in the area with the Liaison Support Team, Quick Reaction Forces and Mobile Training Teams.
“TF Lafayette is working in close cooperation with the Afghan National Security Forces in protecting Kabul,” Pallasset said. “We will not leave Afghanistan behind.”
“The French have always been there to support ANSF, whether it be the police or the army,” said Richardson. “They have made tremendous progress with 3rd Brigade. We must make sure that continues. The only way we can reach our end state is to do it collectively.”