General McKiernan assumes command of ISAF
General McKiernan assumed Command of ISAF from US General Dan McNeill during a handover ceremony held on 3 June 2008 in Kabul. The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General John Craddock and the Commander of the Joint Forces Command (JFC) Brunssum, General Egon Ramms, attended the event.
“I am honored to serve alongside our Afghan hosts and brothers to work toward a common comprehensive set of goals,” said General McKiernan. “While today marks a transition in the commanders, the mission must continue without missing a beat” he added.
President Karzai welcomed the new ISAF Commander. “Together with the Afghan officers, Ministry of Defense and the Chief of the Afghan Army you will work to promote the standards to the Afghan Army, you will equip them better and eventually enable them to serve and defend this country themselves” he stated.
The Commander of JFC Brunssum, General Ramms, who presided over the change of command, stressed: “Although I recognize insecurity cannot be overcome by military means alone, I believe ISAF is now better placed than ever to facilitate the necessary stability for economic and social development and to cooperate with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the UNAMA with an integrated approach.”
General McNeill relieves his command of the ISAF Headquarters after a 16 month tour of duty. After 40 years of commissioning in the US Army, he is due to retire in July. “It has been my privilege to have the honor to serve in this alliance and to serve the people of Afghanistan,” he stated. “I offer the people of Afghanistan, many of whom are my friends, my gratitude for the generosity and hospitality that they have shown me. My gratitude also goes to the allied soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians for what they have done and what they will continue to do for the people of Afghanistan.”
The new ISAF Commander, General McKiernan, has been in the US Army for 36 years and has served in every capacity from platoon leader to numbered Army commander in Europe, United States, Korea and Southwest Asia. His deployment experience includes, but is not limited to, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo.
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