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    170th IBCT transitions authority in northern Afghanistan

    170th IBCT transitions authority in northern Afghanistan

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Klutts | From left, U.S. Army Col. Patrick Matlock, the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Klutts 

    170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan – The commander of the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team transferred his authority in northern Afghanistan to the commander of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during a ceremony here, Feb. 1.

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will return to Baumholder, Germany after a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In the past 12 months, the Bayonet Brigade’s soldiers partnered with Afghan National Police to provide security in northern Afghanistan, while developing infrastructure and government.

    Most recently, Bayonet soldiers transitioned their focus to security force assistance and adopted an organizational structure that will be followed by U.S. units that deploy to Afghanistan in the future.

    “For 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, it’s a formal end and an accomplishment of a long mission,” said German army Maj. Gen. Markus Kneip, the Regional Command - North commander.

    When not deployed, Kneip lives a “one-hour drive” away from the 170th IBCT’s home at Smith Barracks in Baumholder. He said his involvement with the brigade started there and carried over to Afghanistan.

    “The Bayonet Brigade played an important role in the work and task to be accomplished in RC North,” he said. “The 170th has been the boots on the ground, especially with the police, partnering, advising and mentoring.”

    “Your team, and you personally, did an outstanding job,” Kneip said to U.S. Army Col. Patrick Matlock, the 170th IBCT commander. “I always counted on you and you helped me to step forward. I don’t call it success … I call it progress,” he said.

    Kneip said that the 170th IBCT was the first unit in Afghanistan to implement the security force assistance team mission at a brigade level.

    “Security force assistance was an extra challenge. This was an extra burden, but now it is an extra achievement,” he said.
    Kneip also welcomed the incoming unit to his team.

    “I invite you, and all of the [commanders], advisers, experts and soldiers of 37th, to take part in our combined effort here in the North.”

    Matlock thanked the U.S., coalition and Afghan forces throughout the region for their support during the brigade’s deployment.

    “There can be no question that we have greatly improved the security and conditions in northern Afghanistan,” he said.
    Matlock said that the incoming unit is ready for the challenge.

    “As they continue this mission, we wish the 37th Infantry Brigade and its commander, Col. Jim Perry, the very best in every endeavor. This is an impressive formation. Their work to prepare for this mission has obviously been very well executed and it is impossible to miss the remarkable skills and experience that this team brings. You will have a great year, and every bit of your efforts will be rewarded with the growth of capability in the Afghan security forces and improved conditions in the North. Good luck,” he said.

    Matlock also thanked his soldiers for their work during the deployment.

    “We take a great deal of pride in our brigade by just being a normal unit that works to accomplish our mission and meet the Army standard,” he said.

    Ohio National Guard Col. James Perry, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander, thanked Matlock and 170th soldiers for a successful transition.

    “We are impressed with your leadership, skills and professionalism and are very appreciative for the proper handoff between the 170th Brigade and the 37th Brigade. I am confident with what you have accomplished over the last year with working with our Afghan partners and with the coalition, and your nation is grateful for your service,” he said.

    Perry said his soldiers are prepared to fulfill their new role in Regional Command - North.

    “I promise you that soldiers with the 37th Brigade are fully trained and prepared to jump right in and execute their assigned tasks,” he said.



    Date Taken: 02.01.2012
    Date Posted: 02.01.2012 11:51
    Story ID: 83135
    Location: CAMP MIKE SPANN, AF 

    Web Views: 660
    Downloads: 0