By Sgt. 1st Class N. MaxfieldAugust 8, 2008
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Col. Ralph W. Haddock took over command of the U.S. National Command Element (Task Force Anzio) from U.S. Army Col. Arthur P. Crowder during a change-of-command ceremony here Aug. 6.
Task Force Anzio provides operational oversight as well as logistical and administrative support to two Provincial Reconstruction Teams, one infantry company from 1-4 Infantry Battalion, as well as the 189th Combat Service and Support Battalion. Task Force Anzio is also charged with carrying out the base operations mission to support all U.S. forces at Kandahar Air Field.
Crowder commanded Task Force Anzio for one year, and will subsequently serve as the J-3 Chief of Operations for Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
Crowder recognized his Afghan counterparts during his farewell speech and let them know how much he appreciated their service to the cause of freedom.
"When I first arrived here I spoke about making a difference in the lives of the Afghan people," Crowder said. "You gentlemen are making a difference. It has been an honor to be associated with you and your cause, which is to make the lives of the Afghan people better."
Crowder also told the attendees that he was comfortable in handing over Task Force Anzio to Haddock.
Haddock comes to Afghanistan from Fort Sill, Okla., where he served as the Deputy Director of the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate. During his 25 years of service he commanded the 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, and he previously deployed to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy. He has also served in multiple artillery duty positions in the 8th Infantry Division, the 9th Infantry Division, and the 10th Mountain Division.
Haddock voiced his enthusiasm and support for the Anzio mission and told the multi-national crowd he looked forward to working with them.
"To my coalition colleagues, I look forward to our partnership in executing our critical mission in support of the citizens of Afghanistan and our countrymen back home."
He let the Afghan leaders who attended the ceremony know that they could expect the same level of support from his as they'd grown accustomed to from his predecessor.
"To our Afghan friends, I am privileged to stand should to shoulder with you men of courage, honor, and commitment," Haddock said in his speech. "I too have great hopes for the future of your country."
Haddock earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1983. He has also earned a Master's of Business Administration from Portland State University (Portland, Oregon), and a Master's of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle, Pa.
Haddock and his wife Denise, from Lafargeville, N.Y., have an 8-year-old son, Thomas, and a 7-year-old daughter, Erina.