101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers assume joint responsibilities in Afghanistan 

 
Maj. Gen. James C. McConville and Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo J. Smith, forefront, the command team of 101st Airborne Division, Air Assault, and Combined Joint Task Force-101, salute the unit’s flag at a transfer-of-authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The 101st Airborne Division assumed control of Regional Command-East from the 1st Infantry Division. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. David J. Overson, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), known as the "Screaming Eagles," assumed responsibility of the combined joint task force in eastern Afghanistan, March 14, in a ceremony on Bagram Airfield.

Combined Joint Task Force-101, will operate in Regional Command-East, an area roughly the size of Virginia, which includes 14 provinces and 7.5 million Afghans.

The 1st Infantry Division wrapped up its year-long deployment and will be heading back to Fort Riley, Kan.

"Success in Afghanistan is now measured by what our Afghan partners can do rather than what we, as a coalition do," Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., division commanding general, said during the ceremony.

The 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky., assumed command of RC-East for the third time during Operation Enduring Freedom. This is the same role that the division filled during deployments in both 2008 and 2010.

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to return to RC-East with the 101st Airborne Division and work with our partners in the Afghan Security Forces," McConville added.

Several of the 101st’s brigades have already been operating in RC-East for many months. The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and elements of the 101st Sustainment Brigade welcomed their division headquarters into theater.

Attending the ceremony were the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and the joint command commander, Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, along with other regional commanders.

"I am happy to return to Afghanistan to work with you. I am confident that you will be successful because of the strength of your Afghan Security Forces. You are truly Afghan strong," McConville said while speaking in Dari.

(Editor’s note: This article is based on a story by Staff Sgt. David J. Overson, 115th Public Affairs Detachment.)