AUSTIN (KXAN) - Soldiers in the Austin, Texas-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry (Airborne) Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, transferred their combat and base security responsibilities to the Savannah, Ga.-based 179th Military Police Company of the Georgia Army National Guard during an official ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct. 27.
The ceremony marked the beginning of the 179th's nine-month tour and the end of the 1-143rd's tour which began in February.
"What haven't you (1-143rd) done since the beginning of your tour here," said Brig. Gen. William Hall, commander of 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Task Force Centurion on Camp Phoenix. During Hall's remarks, he commended the Texas Guard soldiers for the response to a NATO crisis in the city of Kabul in March and their work in mentoring nearly 200 Afghan Uniformed Police in crisis response techniques.
Preparing their Afghan counterparts in local police work is a vital part of the overall success of the national security forces because of the strong influence of some local leaders. Reinforcing the local police and enabling their ability to serve at their level, helps the national police gain legitimacy.
"The work we do here is all about relationships and the 1-143rd mastered that ability to build and help others build good relations in a complex environment," said Hall.
Capt. Aaron McKenzie of Longview, Texas and HHC, 1-143rd company commander said, "I took command of the unit just days before we deployed. During the tour, I wanted to make sure the men always felt confident in what they were doing and they did a fantastic job. We rehearsed, practiced and planned everything, but what made the difference was the competence of the Soldiers in the unit, which made my job easier."
Their jobs included personnel security, base defense, and quick reaction force. "Our goal as we accept security responsibility from the 1-143rd is to maintain the great systems, relationships, and work efforts left to us," said Capt. Theodore Dunham of the 179th.
As the ceremony came to an end, Hall urged the soldiers of the 179th to keep up a positive attitude and live by the brigade's six core principles—trust, communication, serving at the level assigned, enabling subordinate success, return with honor and saying thank you.
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