War on Terrorism

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NAVCENT Commander Visits Afghanistan Detention Center IAs

By Kurt Larson, Joint Task Force 435 Public Affairs

June 10, 2010 - PARWAN, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney visited the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) and the adjoining Camp Sabalu-Harrison, to get a closer look at the contributions made by individual augmentee (IA) Sailors on June 5.

Task Group Trident, commanded by Cmdr. Michael J. Elbert, consists of 297 Individual Augmentee (IA) and Global War on Terror Support Assignment Sailors who directly support the mission of Joint Task Force (JTF) 435. Commanded by Vice Adm. Robert Harward, JTF-435 was established in September 2008 to assume responsibility for detainee operations in Afghanistan.

Gortney visited Afghanistan to meet with Sailors in Kabul and Parwan and to thank them for their extraordinary service in a combat zone. Gortney gave special thanks and recognition to Sailors' families and loved ones whose sacrifices are greatly appreciated during this challenging period in history.

Gortney's visit began with a casual lunch with 20 Sailors, and the admiral spoke with them about their duties as part of JTF-435 and their living conditions.

Following lunch, Gortney was led on a tour of the DFIP.

The DFIP, a state-of-the-art facility located near Bagram Airfield, was completed in September 2009 and was occupied in December. The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables JTF-435 to better align detainee operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan. The facility provides a detention complex that is safe, secure and accommodating; substantially improving the quality of life for detainees, guard personnel and staff.

The DFIP is designed to secure approximately 1,000 detainees, with a surge capacity of about 1,300 detainees. That figure is based upon square footage per detainee in excess of the humanitarian requirements recommended by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

After departing the DFIP, Gortney toured of Camp Sabalu-Harrison to tour Sailors' living and working conditions there.

The walk-through included a tour of the USO, crew berthing, computer lab and chapel.

After touring the camp, Gortney hosted an all-hands call with members of Task Group Trident, on a brand new deck built by Sailors. Built to resemble a ship, the deck is painted "haze gray" has a large hull number and a "Don't Tread On Me" Navy jack flown from the mast.

The all-hands call began when Gortney called Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Cory Williams front and center, and announced that he was being frocked to petty officer second class.

"The work you are doing here is ensuring the safety and security of the Afghan people and the world beyond," said Gortney. "Having had the opportunity to witness your efforts firsthand, I want to tell you how proud I am. Thank you."

JTF-435 is responsible for all DFIP operations to include care and custody of detainees, full implementation of detainee review procedures, and establishment of vocational and educational programs designed to facilitate the peaceful reintegration of detainees into society.

The command's mission also includes being responsible for all U.S. detention operations throughout Afghanistan and supports the overall strategy of defeating insurgent groups and of building the capacity of the Afghan government to provide security for its people.

The desired end state is the transfer of all detention operations in Afghanistan, including the DFIP, to the Afghan government once it has developed the requisite sustainable capacity to run those detention systems in accordance with Afghan and international law.

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