KABUL, Afghanistan, June 14, 2010 — A new regional command took charge of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan today, military officials said.
The new Regional Command Southwest provides improved oversight of International Security Assistance Force troops operating in Helmand and Nimroz provinces.
With the majority of ISAF forces based in southern Afghanistan, officials said, the new headquarters permits commanders in the south to focus on geographically smaller areas, ensure greater partnering between the Afghan forces and ISAF, and deliver the levels of security required for governance and development to continue to spread in the region.
Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, commanding general of the new command, leads a combined force of about 27,000 personnel, with units drawn from eight nations.
“It is a distinct privilege for all of us to stand up Regional Command Southwest,” Mills said. “We are truly building on the outstanding work of all who have served here in Helmand and Nimroz provinces. This is a natural military progression based on the number of troops serving here and the priority placed on Helmand and Nimroz provinces.”
Army Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of ISAF Joint Command, said the new command will help Afghan and coalition forces to work closely together. “The establishment of Regional Command Southwest significantly increases the ability of the Afghan national security forces to partner with the coalition,” he said.
Regional Command South, led by British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, will continue to direct ISAF operations in the provinces of Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Daykundi. About 30,000 forces continue to operate in Regional Command South.
From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release