KABUL, Afghanistan, July 11, 2011 — Army Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti assumed command of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command here today.
Scaparrotti succeeds Army Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who had led the command since its October 2009 inception and has been nominated to receive his fourth star and serve as commander of U.S. Army Forces Command.
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, ISAF commander, presided over the change of command at the joint command’s Kabul International Airport headquarters. He highlighted coalition and Afghan progress under Rodriguez’s command and offered words of advice to Scaparrotti.
“ ‘General Rod’ is, in many respects, the operational architect of the campaign plan that has guided the progress of the past year,” Petraeus said. “After overseeing the building of the IJC headquarters, he has spent as much time in the field as in his office overseeing, together with various Afghan partners, the execution of the operational campaign plan he helped design. General Rod understands the lives of the Afghan people, and he has made it his personal mission to help serve and protect them.”
Before he was named to be IJC’s first commander, Rodriguez was the military assistant to then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. From January 2007 to April 2008, he commanded ISAF’s Regional Command East.
“To my Afghan partners: you are the backbone of the progress we have made here in Afghanistan,” Rodriguez said. “The people of Afghanistan continue to grow confidence in the Afghan national security forces, and every day, as leaders, you make tough decisions in the best interest of the people of Afghanistan.”
Rodriguez then offered high praise for his successor.
“Lieutenant General Scaparrotti is a superb leader and a proven counterinsurgent,” he said. “He has firsthand knowledge of Afghanistan’s complexities, having led the fight in Regional Command East. There is no better man to lead the operational fight.”
Scaparrotti comes to Afghanistan from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., where he served as the commander of the U.S. Army’s 1st Corps. The general has served in Iraq, and this is his second tour in Afghanistan.
“I’m humbled to be the new IJC commander and honored to be a part of the team with our Afghan counterparts,” he said. “IJC is where the future will be shaped through our partnered approach to fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. The work we do will have an impact for years to come.”
From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release