KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (July 25, 2013) -- Advise and assist operations are now in full swing as the Troops of Combined Task Force Dragoon (2nd Cavalry Regiment) assumed their role in helping the security forces of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Regiment conducted a transfer of authority ceremony, or TOA, July 25, 2013 at Kandahar Airfield.
The ceremony marked the Dragoons' formal assumption of authority for operations from Combined Task Force 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team), 2nd Infantry Division, Regional Command-South, that redeployed back to the United States. As the tour progresses, CTF Dragoon will be responsible for assisting Afghan National Security Forces, known as the ANSF, in becoming self-sufficient during their day-to-day security operations to stabilize and legitimize the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
With the regiment's Security Force Advisory and Assistance Teams fully trained and equipped to provide help where needed, the ANSF will take the lead in securing its country and liberating its people from hostile forces.
This isn't the first time the Dragoons have occupied the same area of operations as CTF 4-2. The progress CTF 4-2 has made throughout their deployment is assured to be carried on as the Dragoons take the lead.
"What's interesting about this ceremony is that this isn't the first time these two units were ever on the same battlefield," said Maj. Gen. Paul LaCamera, Regional Command-South commanding general. "The Raider Brigade was created out of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in 2009, and share the same heritage. The strong Afghan relationships formed over the past year with the Raider Brigade will not stop with their departure, and the Dragoons will carry on as history demonstrates."
Once again, the Dragoons have come to help the people of Afghanistan and assist security forces in order to help improve the country's capacity to govern itself. The advances 2nd Cavalry Regiment has helped coalition forces make have been sustained and improved over the past years.
"Two years ago, the regiment's colors were cased in Zabul Province after service throughout all of RC-South," said Col. D.A. Sims, commander of CTF Dragoon. "Dragoons of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment served side by side with their afghan partners to make life better for the average Afghan through enhanced security, greater development and increased government. As we uncase the colors on Afghan soil once again, I can say with great certainty that there is great progress in all these areas."
Col. Michael A. Getchell, commander of CTF 4-2, expressed his gratitude for the service of, not only the Dragoons, but the ANSF as well.
"I am honored to stand among this mass group of incredibly brave leaders who are fully invested in the security and governance of Afghanistan," said Getchell. "I am sincerely humbled by the sacrifice extended, in both blood and treasure, from all those represented here today by members of the Afghan security forces and coalition. I look forward to reading the chapter of history this disciplined, confident, competent and storied team of teams will write over the coming months."
The last time 2nd Cavalry Regiment served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, much progress was made, and a foundation was laid for the Afghan people. Ever since then, a foothold has been occupied by the ANSF against the local enemies known as the Taliban.
"The Dragoons have returned to southern Afghanistan after their departure in May of 2011," said LaCamera. "The last time they were here, they saw an Afghan National Army battalion become the first independently rated battalion in Afghanistan. They assisted security forces in all corners of Kandahar Province, representing their legacy dating back to 1836. The enemy is in an unfair fight against Afghan National Security Forces. The national forces are strong. They are better equipped and better trained. It is an honor to be among them as friends and brothers in arms."
The Dragoons arrived at RC-South willing and ready to advise and assist the ANSF to overcome any and all enemies the region might have, who wish to create instability.
"We arrive in southern Afghanistan with a renewed dedication to the Afghan people and with a sense of responsibility to those members of the coalition and Afghan security forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Sims.