If you hadn’t heard…

Posted June 29th, 2009 by SgtStryker

If you hadn’t heard (thanks to the media), Army Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez arrived in Afghanistan this week to assume his post as deputy commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Rodriguez will serve in that post on an interim basis as NATO officials create a new intermediate command that he will head in the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to oversee day-to-day military operations in the region.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates explained the rationale behind the new command structure and where Rodriquez will fit in under Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who commands both U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan (which is a pretty big job any way you look at it.)

“The problem we needed to address is [that] the commander of ISAF under the current arrangement has far too many responsibilities to be able to guide the tactical battle on a day-to-day basis across the country,” Gates said. “The plan is for General McChrystal and the [British] deputy commander — Royal Marines Lt. Gen. Jim Dutton — to have more of a strategic role in looking across the country at a more elevated level in terms of cooperation between civil and military efforts.”

The secretary said he hopes the new NATO command structure will be in place by August. “Immediately on the establishment of this ISAF headquarters,” he said, “[Rodriquez] will take off the U.S. hat and put on an ISAF hat, and his only role will be in an alliance role.”

As commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Rodriquez led Combined Joint Task Force 76, based at Bagram Airfield, from February 2007 to April 2008. This is the second tour of duty in Afghanistan for him. As deputy commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, he will direct the day-to-day operations and continue effective integration and coordination between U.S. and coalition forces operating under ISAF, officials said. Rodriguez most recently served as Gates’ senior military assistant.

Questions? Sgt. Stryker out.



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Factory Closing: Nasiriyah Home for Improvised Explosive Device Manufacture Raided by Dhi Qar Police

Soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division catalogue munitions that may have been used in attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces seized by the Iraqi police June 13, in the al Zahara neighborhood of Nasiriyah. The find was one of the largest in southern Iraq over the past year, and was made possible by a tip from locals in the area. The battalion is deployed from Fort Bliss, Texas, to advise and assist the Iraqi security forces in accordance with the U.S. – Iraq Security Agreement. Photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens

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