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Army August 19, 2010
By SSgt John Wollaston
THE multinational Combined
Team--Uruzgan (CT-U) took control
of International Security Assistance
Force troops in Afghanistan's Uruzgan
Province on August 1 after four years
of Dutch command.
The handover ceremony at
Multinational Base Tarin Kowt ushered
in an increased presence in the region
for US forces, who will work along-
side troops from Australia, Singapore,
Slovakia, New Zealand and France.
It was an emotional farewell for
the Dutch soldiers, many of whom
had deployed to Uruzgan more than
once. Outgoing Task Force Uruzgan
Commander Brig-Gen Kees Van den
Heuvel said it was not easy to say good-
bye after "such intense co-operation".
"It hurts because it will mark the end
of the Dutch-led role here in Uruzgan. It
hurts because you have to say goodbye
to people with whom you have shared
very intense experiences and with whom
personal friendships have grown," Brig-
Gen Van den Heuvel said.
He noted that while a lot of work was
still to be done, the Dutch left "with a
feeling that we were able to make a dif-
"Together we were able to hold and
deepen the Afghan Development Zones.
Together we enabled an increasing
role of the Afghan National Army and
Afghan National Police. Together, we
dominate the populated areas and the
green zones where the population feels
more secure," he said.
CT-U Commander Col Jim
Creighton, US Army, complimented the
Dutch and Australian efforts under the
former Task Force Uruzgan.
"I am looking forward to building on
the exceptional work that the Dutch and
Australians have accomplished so far in
Uruzgan," Col Creighton said.
"The expansion of roads and bridges,
the effectiveness of the Afghan National
Security Forces and the establishment
at top in
of commercial air capability are small
examples of the improvements made by
the hard work and efforts of dedicated
professionals working with the Uruzgan
leaders and people."
The biggest task for CT-U will be
to work with the Afghans to build and
strengthen the government of the prov-
ince in an effort to better serve the peo-
ple as well as helping the local govern-
ment in conducting coming elections.
Col Creighton said CT-U would work
side-by-side with the Afghan Army and
police to "make a positive impact for the
people of Uruzgan."
"I will work with government offi-
cials, tribal leaders and the citizens of
Uruzgan in order to identify priorities
and work together to solve problems,"
New start: Australian and
US members of Combined
Team-Uruzgan salute during a
transfer of authority ceremony
at Multinational Base Tarin Kowt
(above), while the International
Security Assistance Force flag
is raised to signify the start of
CT-U's mission (left).
Photos by SSgt John Wollaston
Combined Team-Uruzgan includes
around 1800 US, Australian,
Singaporean, Slovakian, New
Zealand and French personnel.
Mentoring Task Force 1 is now part
CT-U replaces Task Force Uruzgan
(TF-U), which was created in 2006
when Dutch forces first arrived in
The transfer of authority from the
Dutch-led TF-U marks the start of
the drawdown of Dutch forces from
Uruzgan over the coming months.
24 Dutch soldiers have been killed
FROM TASK FORCE TO COMBINED TEAM
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