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Monday, April 16, 2007

Joint effort continues at Jalalabad PRT

16 April 2007
By Army Pfc. Daniel M. Rangel
22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – A new provincial reconstruction team dominated by active duty Airmen, Army National Guard and Reserve Soldiers assumed its role in Nangarhar during a transfer of authority ceremony conducted April 12 at the PRT compound in Jalalabad.

Air Force Lt. Col. Gordon Phillips assumed command from Air Force Lt. Col. Dave Naisbitt, outgoing PRT commander, during a ceremony attended by a mass formation of incoming and outgoing PRT Soldiers and Airmen.

Naisbitt praised the efforts of his own organization and expressed confidence in the incoming team during his remarks.

“The people standing here are better trained then we were, better equipped than we were. They’re going to come in more motivated than we possibly could have. We’ve seen it already. So this should be a fantastic year coming up,” Naisbitt said.

The incoming PRT includes Airmen stationed around the globe and Soldiers from the Arizona and Hawaii National Guard. More than 75 percent of the 84 personnel volunteered for the PRT mission.

Key leaders in attendance included Air Force Brig. Gen. Christopher Miller, commander, Combined Joint Task Force-82 Air Combat Command; Army Col. John Nicholson, commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division; and the BCT’s senior noncommissioned officer, Army Command Sgt. Maj. James Redmore.

Last year, servicemembers at the Jalalabad PRT have made significant contributions to Nangarhar Province which included supplying food, Qurans, prayer rugs, loud speakers, and carpets for mullahs and mosques.

The outgoing PRT left an impressive legacy of accomplishment. PRT members conducted over 850 combat patrols throughout Nangarhar Province, suffering no casualties during the arduous yearlong deployment.

Working closely with international aid organizations, nongovernmental organizations and Afghan contractors, PRT members took enormous strides in regional development. They assisted the directors of education, public health and public works in creating comprehensive databases of schools, medical facilities and roads, enabling fact-based decision making. PRT personnel expanded construction capacity by expanding the capability of the Construction Trade Training Center and relationships with the Nangarhar Builders Association.

PRT members reinforced Coalition support for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by contributing food, Korans, prayer rugs, loud speakers, carpets for mullahs and mosques. The PRT also funded the completion of a mosque in the Achin District and a watershed management structure in the Hisarek District. The watershed management structure will increase irrigated land and minimize flood damage.

Photo: Air Force Lt. Col. Gordon Phillips, incoming PRT commander, turns the formation over to Army 1st Sgt. Garry Murdock April 12 in Jalalabad. (Photo by Army Pfc. Daniel M. Rangel)

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