General Langheld emphasizes NATO JFC Brunssum’s role in ISAF mission during his trip to Afghanistan

Jan 30 2012

COM SAT
Commander NATO Allied Joint Force Command, General Wolf
Langheld (right) meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan,
Ryan R. Crocker. 

By CPO Roland Murof (EST N), JFC HQ Brunssum PAO and ISAF PA

General Wolf Langheld, Commander NATO Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum emphasized JFC Brunssum's role as out of theater operational Headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission during his trip to Afghanistan. Meetings with the key civilian and military officials were part of his recent Situational Awareness Trip, from 24 to 29 January.

"These trips help me to raise my situational awareness on the mission in Afghanistan that we as an operational Headquarters, need to better coordinate our work in Brunssum,” General Langheld said. "This will help us to support the ISAF mission and ultimately ensures mission success,” he added.

Meetings with the Ambassadors of NATO, Germany and United States, as well as with Commanders of ISAF, ISAF Joint Command (IJC) and NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) were on General Langheld's agenda. In order to get a picture from all levels of the mission, visits to Regional Commands (RC) North and East, Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Bamyan and ISAF Special Operations Forces (SOF) units completed the trip.

NATO's efforts are showing results and JFC Brunssum stands with ISAF to maintain the momentum throughout 2012 and beyond. In practical terms, the support NATO is offering to provide after security transition will be defined at the NATO Chicago Summit in May, this year.

Issues related to campaign progress, transition and future relationship with Pakistan were at the table in a meeting with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Sir Simon Gass.

Meetings with the German Ambassador, Rüdiger König and the U.S. Ambassador, Ryan Crocker focused on NATO's vision for Enduring Partnership after the drawdown of forces in 2013-2014 and on the national commitments nations might be willing to make then.

Campaign progress, transition, strategic risks and recent incidents in Pakistan and the tragic event involving French soldiers were at the center of the talks with the Commander ISAF, General John Allen and Commander IJC, Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparotti.

General Langheld offered to assist ISAF and IJC in the area of manpower shortages as the ongoing NATO Command Structure Reform will make JFC Brunssum staff deployable, operational tour to Afghanistan will broaden individual knowledge, assist in mission continuity and help Brunssum provide improved out of theater support.

As reported in the 2011 Asia Foundation Survey, nearly 90 percent of Afghans believe the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are helping to improve security in their country. Afghan peoples' support for the insurgency is diminishing and the Afghan National Army is seen as the main provider of security.

"ANSF are critical to ISAF mission success. I can see NTM-A has made a huge step forward but your work lies at the heart of our mission. JFC Brunssum stands ready to assist you in your efforts wherever possible,” General Langheld said, when meeting with the Commander NTM-A, Lieutenant General Daniel Bolger.

The trip to Afghanistan also included visits to RCs North and East plus PRT Bamyan, lead by New Zealand, and a visit to ISAF Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their Afghan Special Police partner forces. "I specifically wanted to get a feel of how ISAF SOF are partnering their Afghan counterparts," said General Wolf Langheld. "It is one thing to read about them, but it is another to actually go and get the feel and smell of ISAF and Afghan Special Operators on the ground," he added.

ISAF SOF is partnering the national level General Directorate of Police Special Units and the Kabul based Crisis Response Unit. ISAF SOF also provides military assistance to the Provincial Response Companies (PRC). The PRCs are providing high level special police capabilities to protect the provinces against any threat to the Afghan population.

JFC Brunssum, the Netherlands is one of three NATO operational level commands in NATO Allied Command Operations (ACO). JFC Brunssum also serves as the higher headquarters for ISAF in Afghanistan, with ISAF as a primary mission and NATO Article 5 Operational Planning, Baltic Air Policing, Military Cooperation and NATO Response Force (NRF) tasking among other activities.
 
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COM SAT COM SAT
Commander NATO Allied Joint Force Command, General Wolf
Langheld visiting ISAF Special Operations Forces (SOF) and
their Afghan Special Police partner forces.
Briefing at the New Zealand lead PRT Bamyan, by Director Richard
Prendergast.