From Red Bulls to Thunderbird: Transfer of authority in Afghanistan
BY SPC. LESLIE GOBLE Task Force Thunderbird
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
10/28/11 at 12:27 PM
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division transferred authority of several provinces to the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in a Transfer of Authority ceremony July 19, at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in
Over the next several months, the 45th will be performing missions in several
provinces throughout Afghanistan including Laghman and Panjshir and the
western districts of Nuristan Provinces.
"This is not the first time the 34th and 45th have seen each other in the
theatre of operations," said Col. Joel P. Ward, Commander of the 45th IBCT.
"In Naples, Anzio and Rome, we served together in some of the toughest combat
in the European theatre (during WWII) and here in Afghanistan the legacy
The 45th IBCT has trained long and hard on their way to Afghanistan. The
45th completed pre-mobilization training at Camp Gruber, Okla., Camp Shelby,
Miss., the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. and Fort Hood,
Texas. The 45th also completed three months of post-mobilization training at
Camp Shelby where they sharpened their warrior skills and learning about the
culture of Afghanistan. In all, the 45th IBCT completed training at six
military installations before deploying to Afghanistan.
Among the guests at the TOA were Brig. Gen. James Richardson, deputy
commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force 1, and commanders from
several provincial reconstruction teams including a team from the Republic of
Richardson talked about the successes the 2nd Brigade, 34 Division had in
Afghanistan during their deployment.
The Red Bulls conducted two large air assaults into the valleys surrounding
Bad Pakh and Do Ab districts in order to reinforce local security and provide
Afghan National Security Forces the opportunity to occupy the districts in
order to displace enemy forces that threaten the local populations.
"I find it remarkable that the air assault into Do Ab was the largest air
assault conducted during the Combined Joint Task Force 101's tour in Regional
Command East," said Richardson.
The 2nd Brigade, 34 Division completed more than $48 million in development
projects in a total of 26 districts covering five provinces.
"This firmly set the conditions for local and district governments to become
self sustaining and moved them closer to the point of irreversible
stability," said Richardson. "The Red Bulls did all this and more while
conducting base defense at Bagram preserving our safety through persistent
surveillance and vigilant overwatch."
The 45th deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003 as embedded trainers for the
Afghan National Army (ANA).
Afghanistan has changed much since we were here last, but the constant has
been the ANA's 201st Corps and the 1st Brigade of the 201st Corps," said
Ward. "The Thunderbirds were here in 2003 when the 1st Brigade first entered
combat as a unit in the Afghan National Army, and now we have come again.
Together we will fight the enemies of Afghanistan and the US."
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Maxwell and Col. Joel Ward, commander and sergeantmajor of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stand next to Col. BenjaminCorell and Command Sgt Maj. Joel Arnold, commander and sergeant major of the2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, at the reception after theTransfer of Authority on July 19, at Forward Operating Base Gamberi,Afghanistan. (Photo by Spc. Leslie Goble, Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs Office)
Col. Joel P. Ward, commander of 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, speaks atthe Transfer of Authority ceremony from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34thInfantry Division to the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on July 19, atForward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan.(Photo by Spc. Leslie Goble, Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs Office)
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Maxwell and Col. Joel P. Ward, uncase the colors ofthe 45th IBCT during the Transfer of Authority ceremony on July 19, atForward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan. Uncasing the colors representsthe incoming Brigade's ownership of the command and is tradition during TOAceremonies. (Photo by Spc. Leslie Goble, Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs Office)