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Regional Command East

Regional Command East (RC-E) is an international military formation, of roughly division size, which is one of the components of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The United States Army has usually provided the force headquarters. As of March 2013, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is providing the command headquarters at Bagram Air Field. In 2012, U.S. Vice President Biden called the region "the most dangerous place in the world."[1]

The Command was previously responsible for Provincial Reconstruction Team operations and security in and around Asadabad, Bamyan Province, handled by the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Currently, the command has Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Gardez, Ghazni (Poland and US jointly) and Parwan (South Korea).[2]

Combined Joint Task Force - 101 is the operational headquarters for Regional Command East, and is located at Bagram Air Field. CJTF-101 is commanded by Maj. Gen. James C. McConville of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Karen Decker is the Senior Civilian Representative for CJTF-101, serving as the U.S. Government’s lead proponent for sub-national governance, stabilization and civilian-military integration at the regional level.[3]

Mission: Regional Command East, in full partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational organizations (JIIM), conducts security force assistance to enable the Afghan National Security Forces to protect the Afghan people; neutralize insurgent networks; and deny safe havens for transnational terrorists; and, concurrently support GIRoA institutions as they continue to develop legitimate, credible, and enduring governance and sustainable economic growth.[4]

RC-East includes the provinces of Bamyan, Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshayr, Parwan and Wardak. It covers 46,000 square miles, approximately the size of Virginia, and shares a portion of the border with Pakistan. Currently, more than 13,600 Coalition Forces personnel and 84,000 ANSF personnel are operating in the command’s area of responsibility.[5]

Major units assigned to Regional Command East[6]

  • Combined Joint Task Force –101: 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY (March 2013 - present)
  • 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (February 2013 - present)
  • 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (March 2013 - present)
  • 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (May 2013 - present)
  • TF White Eagle (March 2002 - present: 13th rotation)
  • 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) - (May 2013 - present)
  • 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (July 2013 - present)
  • 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (August 2013 - present)

Bagram Airfield is located in the Parwan Province approximately 11 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the city of Charikar and 47 Kilometers (27 miles) north of Kabul.

Organization

Task Force Bayonet, February 2005 to March 2006

From February 2005 to March 2006, Task Force Bayonet was composed primarily of soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, in Italy.

Subordinate units included

Task Force Spartan, March 2006 to May 2007

From March 2006 to May 2007, Task Force Spartan was a US-led task force in the central and Eastern regions of Afghanistan. Task Force Spartan comprised the US 3rd Brigade Combat Team, from the 10th Mountain Division, and the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines. Task Force Spartan operated under the CJTF-76/RC East.

Task Force Fury, January 2007 to April 2008

From January 2007 to April 2008, Task Force Fury was a US-led task force primarily consisting of the 4th BCT of the 82nd Airborne Division with an attached battalion, the first battalion of the US 503rd Infantry Regiment, from the 173rd ABCT.

Task Force Bayonet, June 2007 to September 2008

From June 2007 to September 2008, Task Force Bayonet was composed primarily of soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, in Italy, and Schweinfurt and Bamberg, in Germany.

Task Force Bayonet initially operated under the Combined Joint Task Force 76; in March 2008, the headquarter was redesignated as CJTF-82,[7] and again, in April, to CJTF-101.

Task Force Currahee, April 2008 to April 2009

From April 2008 to April 2009, Task Force Currahee was a US-led task force primarily consisting of the US 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division.

U.S. and coalition forces, 2009 - 2013

From 2009-2010, the 82nd Airborne Division led RC-East. Among its subordinate formations were the French Army's Brigade La Fayette and the Polish Army's Task Force White Eagle. In 2010, the 101st Airborne Division replaced the 82nd. In May 2011, the 1st Cavalry Division took command of RC-East. In April 2012, 1st Cavalry Division transitioned authority to 1st Infantry Division. In March 2013, 1st Infantry Division (United States) transitioned authority to 101st Airborne Division.

Afghan Leadership, 2012 - present

1st Infantry Division assumed command of RC(E) in April 2012, and immediately sought to set the conditions for Afghan forces to assume full security responsibility, gradually handing over greater and greater responsibilities to Afghan Commanders. By March 2013, when they relinquished oversight of RC-E to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the 201st Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) Corps had assumed full security responsibility North of Kabul and 203rd ANSF Corps had begun assuming full security responsibility South of Kabul.

Sources and references

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