|Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters (left) deputy commander of support operations, hands the unit colors for Regional Support Command-South to Col. Christopher Reed (left center), incoming commander, as Col. Richard "Flip” Wilson, (center right) outgoing commander and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Alston (right), senior enlisted advisor stand in the diamond formation with them.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Regional Support Command-South greeted a new commander in a change of command ceremony June 26 at the Kandahar Air Base NATO Sports Hall.
Incoming commander U. S. Army Col. Christopher Reed replaced outgoing commander U.S. Army Col. Richard "Flip” Wilson, who will take over the chief of staff position for Fort Irwin and the National Training Center in Calif.
As the narrator, Air Force 1st Lt. Jamie Johnson explained, "RSC-South is comprised of over 440 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coalition Partners, and civilian employees operating across the four provinces of Kandahar, Zabol, Dai Kohndi, and Ooruzgan.” RSC-South provides oversight of five regional police academies and one regional military training center and during the past year has trained and equipped more than 3,600 police recruits and 2,800 army recruits. RSC-South and their Afghan counterparts have accomplished many exceptional objectives, Johnson said.
The Deputy Commander of Support Operations, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., who was the reviewing officer for the ceremony, commended the outgoing commander. Playing with the phrase, ‘what you see is what you get,' LeMasters said what one sees when looking at Wilson is "an officer who gave it all, who developed a team of professionals.” What one gets from this driven individual and his team are "results.” LeMasters credited the past year's accomplishments to the disciplined attitude and teamwork Wilson demonstrated during his command.
Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters (left) deputy commander of support operations, hands the unit colors for Regional Support Command-South to Col. Christopher Reed (left center), incoming commander, as Col. Richard "Flip” Wilson, (center right) outgoing commander and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Alston (right), senior enlisted advisor stand in the diamond formation with them.
Wilson credited his success to his coworkers and to fellow NATO troops. "The support from our troop contributing nations has been critical to enabling institutional training and professional development,” he said. He also credited his fellow regional support commanders, stating that they "all have made this combat rotation truly a memorable one, service which I will treasure.”
Wilson explained that an informal relationship at Kandahar Airfield has brought a "unique synergy like in no other region.” Not only did he serve "Shohna ba Shohna” (Shoulder to Shoulder) with his Afghan counterparts, but also with all other major commands on post, all of which contributed to his team's success.
Reed thanked the outgoing commander and his team for bringing him on board and getting him prepared. He cited a former vice chief of staff of the Army, stating that as a new guy, one should keep his remarks short about the great things one wants to do, "because you don't know anything, and the smartest guy in the unit just waked off the field.” However, Reed did share his motif for taking this command.
"I asked to return to Afghanistan because I have seen first-hand, the bravery of the Afghan soldiers, police and people,” he said. "As a Soldier, I serve the United States of America, but I pledge to you, that I also serve Afghanistan,” Reed said in conclusion.
NTM-A is a coalition of 37 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country's security by 2014.
Story and photos by Capt. Monika Comeaux
DCOM SPO/NTM-A Public Affairs Officer