18 Nov. 2008
PR# 2008-626

Panjsher PRT receives new commander

PANJSHER PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stratton and First Sergeant Jason Fritz stand outside a communication center in Panjsher Valley during a transfer of authority ceremony Nov. 16. Stratton is the new commander of ISAF Panjsher Provincial Reconstruction Team. (ISAF photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan — ISAF’s Panjsher Provincial Reconstruction Team received a new commander during a ceremony held at a communication center near the governor’s compound in Panjsher province Nov. 16.

Lieutenant Colonel Russell Kaskel, the outgoing commander, relinquished command to Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stratton, who will command his team for its nine-month deployment.

Brigadier General James Holmes, commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing; Colonel Scott Spellmon, Task Force Warrior commander; Haji Bahlol, governor of Panjsher; and other Afghan officials attended the ceremony.

Bahlol, Spellmon and members of the outgoing PRT received accolades from Kaskel.

“It is inspiring to see the new team standing together with Afghan partners as a testament to our partnership for security and governance,” Kaskel said.

The incoming commander addressed the provincial leaders and local Afghans.

“My team and I are truly honoured to serve here in Panjsher, where provincial governance is strong and the security and stability is provided for by the local population itself,” Stratton said. “I believe Panjsher will continue to be a model province in Afghanistan, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

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/