BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Jan. 8, 2015) – With the start of Resolute Support, and the continuing drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, 2015 will be a period of accelerating change for U.S. Forces Afghanistan. This year will be challenging, but the transition has been relatively smooth due to the already successful retrograde operations accomplished in 2014.
“Over the last 12 months, U.S. forces have responsibly drawn down equipment built up over 13 years of war, while simultaneously supporting operational requirements here in Afghanistan,” said Col. John Chadbourne, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, J-4 director. “We are now postured for the Resolute Support mission, and will continue to transition conscientiously as the mission dictates.”
Headquartered at the busiest aerial port in the DoD, with more than 38 million pounds of aerial cargo moved this year, the Service members of U.S. Forces Afghanistan are confident about the mission in front of them. Troop numbers are down from a high of 34,000 in February, to approximately 10,600 on the ground today. Personnel numbers will fluctuate over the next few months with troops moving in and out of country. We expect additional troop commitments from NATO and Partner Nations to arrive between January and March, reducing the need for the additional1000 U.S. service members recently approved by the President.
A mission of this magnitude is only possible with the direct support of many units and agencies coming together. This effort kicked off in June of 2013.
“I am motivated and inspired by the mission that lies ahead,” said Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, Deputy Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan — Support. “The progress made by the Afghan National Security Forces, or ANSF, over the past two years allowed us to remain on our 2014 schedule with respect to retrograde and redeployment operations as we completed the International Security Assistance Force mission. 2015 will bring changes as Resolute Support begins a new chapter in our relationship with the ANSF, and there appears to be a new spirit of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. These changes provide unique opportunities, and I am optimistic in our combined ability to successfully accomplish our challenging retrograde and support activities for U.S. forces throughout 2015.”