101st Airborne Division assumes command in Afghanistan
March 14, 2013
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (March 14, 2013) -- The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), known famously as the "Screaming Eagles," assumed responsibility of the combined joint task force in eastern Afghanistan, March 14, in a ceremony on Bagram Airfield.
Combined Joint Task Force-101, will operate in Regional Command - East, an area roughly the size of Virginia, which includes 14 provinces and 7.5 million Afghans.
The 1st Infantry Division wrapped up its year-long deployment and will be heading back to Fort Riley, Kan.
"Success in Afghanistan is now measured by what our Afghan partners can do rather than what we, as a coalition do," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., commanding general of 1st Inf. Div. and CJTF-1, during a brief address at the ceremony.
The 101st Airborne Division, based out of Fort Campbell, Ky., assumed command of RC-East for the third time during Operation Enduring Freedom. This is the same role that the division filled during deployments in both 2008 and 2010.
"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to return to RC-East with the 101st Airborne Division and work with our partners in the Afghan Security Forces," said Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and CJTF-101, during his speech at the ceremony.
Several of the 101st's brigades have already been operating in RC-East for many months. The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and elements of the 101st Sustainment Brigade welcomed their division headquarters into theater.
A distinguished guest list comprised of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and the ISAF Joint Command commander, Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, along with other regional commanders were in attendance at the ceremony.
McConville impressed the audience as he addressed the Afghans in attendance with the following words, spoken in Dari.
"I am happy to return to Afghanistan to work with you. I am confident that you will be successful because of the strength of your Afghan Security Forces. You are truly Afghan strong."