Return to Hope

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What is it?

Return to Hope program is NATO’s testimony of its mission in Afghanistan.

This program explores issues and challenges from the past 13 years, through nine thematic chapters: Afghanistan’s Timeline, NATO in Afghanistan, Building up Afghan Forces, The Fight, The Human Cost, Rebuilding Afghanistan, Women’s Struggle, Discover Afghanistan and Looking Forward. In doing so, it features six people, whose lives capture their extraordinary journey during this mission.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Josh Pitcher is one of the six people featured in Return to Hope.

What has the Army done?

Since August 2003, the U.S. Army contributed units and individual Soldiers to support U.S. commitments to the NATO-led ISAF coalition. Contributions included: Corps headquarters to form the nucleus of the ISAF Joint Command (IJC), division headquarters for the regional commands, multiple brigade combat teams (BCTs) to support combat and training requirements, and the majority of rotary-winged support for the entire country. The Army also provided numerous key leaders, to include five of the 17 ISAF commanders and numerous key staff positions.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

As the NATO combat mission (ISAF) ends in December 2014, the Army will contribute to the NATO train, advise and assist mission called Resolute Support. Instead of providing forces for division-level regional commands, there will be train advise and assist commands (TAACs) built to support Afghan National Army Corps-level headquarters. These advisory teams will be built around BCTs and led by a brigadier general.

The 1st Cavalry Division stood up TAAC-South in Kandahar earlier this month and 3rd Infantry Division will take over TAAC-East in Gamberi this December. Soldiers will no longer patrol with Afghan security forces but instead focus on their institutional development, including logistics, intelligence, and air/indirect fire support integration. In addition, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters will take over Title 10 responsibilities as the headquarters for United States Forces-Afghanistan in December 2014.

Why is this important to the Army?

Many label Afghanistan as the “Forgotten War.” As the U.S. Army combat mission transitions to a train-advise-assist mission, it is important to reflect on contributions in Afghanistan. “Return to Hope” provides viewers a snapshot of how the past 13-years made a difference for the Afghan people.

Resources

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