Farah, Afghanistan, 07 May 2012 – At today’s shift meeting at OCC-P (Operations Coordination Center-Provincial) Farah the transfer of authority (TOA) took place. The US Army SFA 14 Team of Lonestar 2nd Brigate, 4th ID (Infantry Division), lead by OF2 Kottke, has been replaced by Italian Army OCC-P Farah Advisor Team I, lead by OF4 Giovanni De Maio (Signal Branch).
Though the words of Mast Sergeant Lujan, who has been continuously “shona by shona” together with all the Officers, since last august, he felt that his time at the OCC-P was a rewarding experience to be able to come in and not only coach and mentor but to befriend and learn from the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). “I can say I worked with people very interested in. – continued MS Lujan – I have found over the time that the OCCP personnel was very receptive of the training that was given. Their willingness to learn has increased their ability as a functional coordination centre”.
The OCC Deputy Commander, LTC Ghoolam Farooq (ANP) addressed many thanks to the SFA 14 Team and gave a warm welcome to the new comers. He also reported that new Farah Governor, Khpalwak Mohammad Akram, visiting recently the Centre, had expressed his satisfaction for the organization set up and for the important duty of ISAF guys.
According to the SFA (Security Force Assistance) concept, the OCC-P functions as a provintial joint information coordination centre and activities will be directed toward the coordination of security operations. The agenda is full of coordinating meetings and effective activities. Since now the disposal of UXOs and IED making material get at same table ANSF and ISAF EOD team in order to coordinate exploitation, transfer and disposal of stuff gathered at Department of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG).
Task Force South Commander, who has tactical control (TACON) on the AT (Advisor Team), Cavalry OF5 Francesco D’Ianni, has previously emphasized mainly the importance of AT role to coordinate access to coalition capabilities such as joint fires, intelligence and medical evacuation – at the same time he asked to work with “buon senso” (common sense).
From Herat side, OF5 Antonio Coppola, Ita Army – Bersaglieri Troops, who has a primary role to fit in and transform former OMLT contingent into MATs and OCCATs, is sure Farah AT has all competences to perform a very proactive duty and whishes good work and luck to the seven advisor guys.
Senior AT, Giovanni De Maio, to thank for encouragement words, underlines to be very glad to have the opportunity to work with afghan people again and on the base of already showed trusted relationship, he is confident to manage the team on a very demanding job in full transition phase.