12 May 2007

PR# 2007-367

A NATO commander tours Nangarhar

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan – German Army Gen. Egon Ramms, Joint Force Command Brunssum commander, toured Task Force Spartan areas of responsibility in Nangarhar Province during a visit May 10.

Joint Force Command Brunssum is one of three joint operational headquarters in NATO.

General Ramms asked Col. John Nicholson, Task Force Spartan commander, about pending transition efforts underway in the Spartan battle space and the four-month extension of the 3rd BCT’s tour in eastern Afghanistan.

“With our extension, the benefit is we now are fighting the same enemy for a second spring,” Colonel Nicholson said.  “And in many cases, our soldiers have more experience than the enemy fighters they face.  The results we see are an exponential increase in combat effectiveness.”

“Our extension allowed our replacements the time they needed to train for their mission in Afghanistan,” Nicholson said.  “Our replacements conducted several pre-deployment site surveys to Afghanistan where they met with our commanders, the people and members of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

The Spartan Brigade staff briefed General Ramms. The general then flew over Nangarhar poppy fields and visited Torkham gate as well as the Jalalabad Construction Trades Technical Center during the day-long visit.

The tour began at 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division headquarters here. Colonel Nicholson; battalion command staff and the Jalalabad Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, and Spartan staff briefed the general and his staff on the organization and development of the new brigade battle space, ongoing operations and counterinsurgency efforts in the northeast.

During his briefing, Colonel Nicholson emphasized the importance of the brigade efforts to obtain and maintain the support of the population by building the infrastructure necessary to build commerce. He said his soldiers’ work as comprehensive and centered on the populace rather than enemy fighters

“It requires a very comprehensive approach, with pressure in all dimensions: kinetic or military, economic, social and political pressure,” Colonel Nicholson said. 

The general departed to tour the battlefield after the briefings.  The tour began with the flyover of the poppy fields and ended with a visit to the construction trades technical center, observing Afghan trades training in person. 

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/