American Forces Press Service
Nov. 23, 2009 - A newly established NATO command was activated Nov. 21 at Camp Eggers here, as the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan merged with the new NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan to create a unified command for the training of Afghan security forces. The multination partnership aims to foster new and existing relationships and build on the already expanding task of training and mentoring Afghan national security forces in preparation for the future security and sustainment of Afghanistan.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, who was tapped to lead the new NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, intends to continue focusing coalition forces efforts on Afghanistan's sustainability as a free and open society.
"Our mission is about teaming with Afghans to build a bright, dynamic future for this sovereign nation. As the...mission has evolved, so has the mindset governing our outlook and perspective," said U.S. Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, who was tapped to lead the new command. "This new mindset, a mindset that challenges us to focus on the people of Afghanistan, requires us to be agile, adaptive, culturally respectful, and innovative. With this mission, and this new mindset, the path to success for [the command] lies with 3 T's: teaming, transparency, and transition."
U.S. Commanding General Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who heads NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and more than 400 coalition soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, U.S. Defense Department civilians, joined with the Afghan ministers of defense and interior and partner nation representatives at the activation and change-of-command ceremony.
The former commander, Maj. Gen. Richard P. Formica, applauded previous successes while looking to the future with a sense of optimism and pride with the establishment of NTM-A.
"It has been my honor and privilege to serve here in Afghanistan," Formica said. "Those of us who serve here recognize the strategic importance of this mission and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to bringing stability and security to the people of Afghanistan."
Preceding the activation, an official change-of-command ceremony was held at Camp Eggers where Caldwell assumed authority from Formica.
(From a NATO Training Mission Afghanistan news release.)