Task Force First Strike takes responsibility in RC-East
March 6, 2014
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan -- Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), took responsibility of the third-most-populated Afghan province from two 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) battalions during a transfer of authority ceremony Sunday at Forward Operating Base Fenty.
Col. Mario Diaz, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), presided over the ceremony in which 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, and 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, transferred their authority of Jalalabad Airfield and FOB Fenty in Nangarhar Province, to 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.
"This airfield, this city, this province ... Nangarhar is steeped in meaning and significance," Diaz said. "It's more than the large population, which happens to be the third-largest in Afghanistan. It's more than the 21 varied districts that make up the province -- it covers from Torkham Gate all the way to the gates of Kabul.
"To use an American phrase, Nangarhar is the big leagues; to win in the big leagues, you have to have a team of all-stars."
Diaz credited Nangarhar with possessing the finest combined force of Afghan National Security Force in all of Afghanistan.
"It has been impressive watching, and in some cases, assisting and enabling when required, this combined force as they execute security in support of their government's objectives," he said.
Soldiers of 2-30 Infantry, "Task Force Wild Boar," commanded by Lt. Col. Alan Boyer and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Singerhouse, and 4th BSTB, "Task Force Talon," commanded by Lt. Col. Kenneth Harrison and Command Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Moorer, spent the last eight months not only in partnership with the many different ANSF members but also running the day-to-day support operations of running Jalalabad Airfield.
"Over the past eight months, I've experienced all that Nangarhar has to offer," Boyer said.
"Nangarhar is complex, it is political, it is progressive, and it is fought over. Nothing in Nangarhar is easy. I am proudest of my Soldiers ... for how they operated in this complex environment -- a mission we summarized as guiding Afghans to win with Afghans to win Afghanistan," he continued.
Richards is no stranger to Afghanistan, having been deployed several times in the last 13 years.
He told his new Afghan partners that it is great to be back, and he commended the progress that both Task Force Patriot battalions made there.
"Following Lt. Col. Harrison and (Command) Sgt. Maj. Moorer will be no easy feat, but we promise to improve the foxhole with the same spirit they have put into it," Richards said.