Afghanistan — New Regional Command Stands Up in Afghanistan

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