• August 2, 2014

Texas National Guard unit completes Afghan tour

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Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 4:30 am

KABUL, Afghanistan — Soldiers in the Austin-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, transferred their combat and base security responsibilities to the Savannah, Ga.-based 179th Military Police Company of the Georgia Army National Guard during an official ceremony Oct. 27 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The ceremony marked the beginning of the 179th’s nine-month tour and the end of the Texas battalion’s tour, which began in February.

“What haven’t you done since the beginning of your tour here,” said Brig. Gen. William Hall, commander of 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Task Force Centurion on Camp Phoenix. During Hall’s remarks, he commended the Texas Guard soldiers for their response to a NATO crisis in Kabul in March and their work in mentoring nearly 200 Afghan Uniformed Police in crisis-response techniques.

Preparing their Afghan counterparts in local police work is a vital part of the overall success of the national security forces.

“The work we do here is all about relationships and the (battalion) mastered that ability to build and help others build good relations in a complex environment,” Hall said.

Capt. Aaron McKenzie, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, said, “I took command of the unit just days before we deployed. During the tour, I wanted to make sure the men always felt confident in what they were doing and they did a fantastic job.”

Their jobs included personnel security, base defense and quick-reaction force.

“Our goal as we accept security responsibility from the 1-143rd is to maintain the great systems, relationships, and work efforts left to us,” said Capt. Theodore Dunham of the 179th.

As the ceremony came to an end, Hall urged the soldiers to keep up a positive attitude and live by the brigade’s six core principles — trust, communication, serving at the level assigned, enabling subordinate success, return with honor and saying thank you.

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