News: Paktya PRT absorbs ADT-2 during TOA
Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Col. Lynn M. Heng, a native of Nebraska City, Neb., and the commander of the Nebraska ADT-2, and U.S. Army Master Sgt. Dennis Krecklow, from Elkhorn, Neb., cased their colors, signifying the end of their deployment to Afghanistan during a formal ceremony at Forward Operating Base Gardez, March 15.
While the majority of the unit will redeploy, 12 soldiers will join the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team, bringing a new mission to the already versatile team.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. Morse, a native of Tucson, Ariz., assumed responsibility of the Paktya PRT from Col. James M. Forand, in a Transfer of Authority ceremony.
Forand, the outgoing commander and native of Auburn, Mass., bid farewell to the Paktya province.
“I leave here with mixed emotions because the people [and] leaders of Paktya have been absolutely welcoming, heartwarming and supportive for our entire time here…,” Forand said. “It’s been the highlight of my career in 22 years to be here on behalf of the people of the United States of America and on behalf of the people of Paktya province, Afghanistan.”
Forand mentioned a return in the future to Paktya.
“I look forward to coming back to Paktya someday without my weapon and my uniform on and as your friend,” Forand said.
The incoming commander expressed his eagerness to work alongside the freshly trained staff.
“Now to the men and women of Paktya PRT,” Morse said. “Remember your training. Continue to maintain the high standards you have developed over the last six months. Your talents and your professionalism in executing the PRT mission are vitally important at this critical time. We are ready, so let’s get after it.”
U.S. Army Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan who hails from Southern Pines, N.C., and the Provincial Governor of Paktya, Juma Khan Hamdard were also guest speakers.
The Paktya PRT was established Jan. 15, 2003. This unique organization combines active Army, Army Reserve, Army and Air National Guard, active Air Force and U.S. government agencies. Their mission is to provide governance, security and reconstruction for Paktya province and 14 provincial districts across a 4,000 square-mile combined joint operational area. This joint, interagency and multi-national organization is the world’s war fighting commitment to peace and stability in a region that once was host to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.