Leaders in Task Force Centurion officially transferred responsibility of Camp Julien to Afghan National Security Forces during a March 12 ceremony.
As the Afghan forces increasingly take the lead for security, the footprint of International Security Assistance Force troops and base requirements will progressively decrease.
“I think this represents a step forward for the Afghan National Army,” said the camp’s former commander, Lt. Col. John Gordy, of Task Force Centurion. “As our mission winds down, the Afghan National Army has to be able to step up and take over.”
Gordy said he was notified in October that the camp he commanded would close before the end of his tour. With only a few months to complete his task, the first thing Gordy did was notify all coalition forces that lived and worked on the camp that it would close in the spring.
“No one wanted to leave,” Gordy said. “Julien was a very popular base, because of its cleaner air and scenic mountain views.”
But Julien’s leaders faced a challenge bigger than losing the picturesque setting. They had to become educated quickly on the camp transfer process, including forecasting the number of trucks and cranes needed to move buildings, supplies and people. In the end, the Julien transfer was completed ahead of schedule.
Representatives from the Afghan Ministry of Defense attended the ceremony and accepted the keys to the camp from Task Force Centurion’s commander, Brig. Gen. William Hall. Hall and Lt. Gen. Azizuddin Yosufzai, Afghan Ministry of Defense commander, said the Afghan people are ready for this transition.
The Afghan forces are growing more capable each day and are already bearing the greatest share of security operations. The Afghan people look forward to the day when their country is self-sufficient, Yosufzai said.
In the past, nearly 500 coalition troops lived on Camp Julien and mentored Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. The camp will continue to be used as a training center.