Brunssum, Netherlands - The Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina, conducted a situational awareness trip to NATO's Resolute Support Mission (RS) in Afghanistan, for which he is the out-of-theatre Operational Commander in the NATO command chain.
In addition to meeting with General John Nicholson, Commander Resolute Support and his leadership team, General Farina had the opportunity to meet with President Ghani and National Security Advisor Atmar, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, NATO Senior Civilian Representative Ambassador Aramaz, and his successor Ambassador Zimmerman, U.S. Ambassador Llorens, Train Advise & Assist Command-West (TAAC-W) Commander Brigadier General Minghetti, and the Afghan National Army 207th Corps Commander, Brigadier General Mobin. Over the course of the visit, General Farina was updated on the latest developments in NATO's RS Mission and given an opportunity to conduct meaningful discussions on the training, sustainment and resource status of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
During his visit with President Ghani, General Farina stressed that much has been accomplished within Afghanistan due to the strong commitment and sacrifice of those military and police forces who gave their lives in support of a stable Afghanistan. On behalf of his nation, President Ghani gave thanks for the dedication and daily sacrifice of the NATO forces operating within Afghanistan.
As NATO continues to provide the Train, Advise and Assist (TAA) support to assist the ANDSF build a sustainable and enduring security capability, the Afghans are building upon their success and continue to make progress despite the many challenges they face. CEO Abdullah expressed his appreciation for NATO's support, stating that "TAA efforts are helping us move towards self-reliance, and the International Community will soon see the benefits of a stable Afghanistan."
General Farina was very pleased with what he saw during his visit, stating "I continue to see improvements within the ANDSF due in large part to General Nicholson's dedicated leadership and the efforts of NATO's RS Mission. While Afghanistan is on the path to success, they will continue to rely on TAA and International Community support in order to sustain their progress."
The RS Mission is a NATO-led, non-combat mission. It was launched on 1 January 2015, following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, and the assumption of full security responsibility by the ANDSF. It is designed to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the necessary capacity to continue defending the country and protect the population in a sustainable manner. It carries out training, advice and assistance activities at the security-related ministries, national institutional levels and at the higher levels of the army and police.
RS currently has approximately 13,000 personnel from NATO Allies and partner nations. It operates with one hub (Kabul/Bagram) and four spokes (Mazar-e-Sharif in the north, Herat in the west, Kandahar in the south, and Laghman in the east).
At the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, NATO Allies reconfirmed their long-term commitment to Afghanistan's stability. They agreed to sustain the RS Mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces beyond 2016 and to contribute to their funding through 2020. They intend to sustain the RS Mission through a flexible, regional approach, delivering support where the Afghans most need it.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office