By Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth A. FossOctober 10, 2013
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GHAZNI, Afghanistan -- Soldiers of Cross Functional Team Warrior held a transition ceremony Oct. 1 to visually signify what has been in place for some time: that Afghan National Security Forces are in the lead and have what it takes to fight and win.
The ceremony also signified that the "Warriors" of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), had cased the brigade and national colors, completed their mission and were on their way back home.
The Warrior Brigade knew what was at stake for the people of Afghanistan, the nation and the alliance before beginning their mission nine long months ago.
"Victory lay not in what we could do, but in what the Afghan governance, the people and the Afghan National Security Forces could and would do," said Col. Stephen Michael, 1st Brigade Combat Team commander.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, named Cross Functional Team Warrior while in Afghanistan, did not deploy to have their names etched in stone. It was not about them; it was about the people, their leadership and the security forces in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
"The face of victory is not us, but them; the face of victory in Ghazni is the people -- its governance," Michael said.
Soldiers of CFT Warrior fought each and every day to advise and assist members of the ANSF to be the ones to secure their own country and to be able to successfully fight and win against the enemies of Afghanistan.
"Whatever success this brigade has seen is a function of the team," Michael said. "We stand not on our own strength, nor by ourselves alone; it has been the work of the Department of State, their district support teams, the provincial reconstruction teams and the senior civilian representatives advising on the governance -- the thing that will ultimately secure the peace."
Ghazni, in many ways, has been the barometer for the fight in Afghanistan and for the enemy. It serves as the gateway between the north and south, a place the enemy has said they must win and the place where the people have taken a stand in the form of the anti-Taliban movement and the Afghan Local Police.
"The Warrior Brigade and their Polish allies (have been) a phenomenal unit; tenacious, hard, flat-bellied, steely-eyed warriors who have made a huge difference in Ghazni partnering with the Afghan National Security Forces and enabling ANSF operations and governance … enabling victory," Michael said.
Cross Functional Team Warrior has redeployed nearly all of its Soldiers and soon will be reunited with the rest of the 1st Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Mountain Division (LI).