Earlier this year, PRT-15 Commander Col Artūras Radvilas, Governor of Ghor Dr. Abdullah Heiwad, Head of the PRT Civilian Element Jurgis Stanaitis, met with locals during a patrol. (Photos by 1st Lt Jurgis Norvaiša)
GHOR, Afghanistan (June 28, 2012) – Inteqal is the Dari and Pashtun word for transition, the process by which security responsibility for Afghanistan is gradually transitioned to Afghan leadership.
On Tuesday during a public ceremony in Ghor province Dawlat Yar district, NATO senior civilian representative in Afghanistan Simon Gass, Italian ambassador in Afghanistan Luciano Pezzotti, senior civilian representative of RC-West Andrea Romussi, together with the Lithuanian Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team of Chagcharan, Col. Artūras Radvilas, governor of the Ghor province Dr. Abdullah Heiwad, political representative of the Provincial Reconstruction Team of Chagcharan Jurgis Stanaitis handed over security and development in Dowlat Yar, Chahar Sadah and Lal Wa Sarjangal districts of Ghor province to Afghan National Security Forces and to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
"Today is a great day for the Ghor province, and especially for the districts of Dowlat Yar, Chahar Sadah and Lal Wa Sarjangal. Today ANSF officially starts to take over the full responsibility of security issues in mentioned districts. This does not mean, that everything is done, this means that now there will be a lot of challenges and we should all work shoulder to shoulder,” said NATO senior civilian representative in Afghanistan Simon Gass.
"Transition is a long GIRoA-led process and will require common efforts of local leaders, PRT and local population for further development of ANSF in Ghor. Already four districts, including Chaghcharan, started the process of transfer of responsibility from PRT to local institutions. About 80 percent of Ghor population lives in these districts,” stressed the Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team of Chagcharan Col Artūras Radvilas.
On Jan. 4, 2012, the town of Chaghcharan and the surrounding area were approved to join the transfer of responsibility process in Chaghcharan. Responsibility of local security forces, i.e. ANA units and police, for the security in their country is gradually increased since then. The key role of the Lithuanian-led Chaghcharan PRT is training of the Afghan National Security Forces with a focus on advise.
Administration capabilities of local authorities are continually being supported as well as the development cooperation projects continued. On the 13th of May the third phase of the transfer of responsibility process was launched in Afghanistan, covering among others three districts of Ghor, Lal Wa Sarjangal, Chahar Sadah and Dawlat Yar.
Currently PRT-15, formed by the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė Motorized Infantry Battalion of the Lithuanian army, ensures security in Ghor province. The shift is led by Col. Artūras Radvilas, commander of the battalion. It is the second deployment of the Battalion's personnel to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The unit flag had been waving in the Provincial Reconstruction Team of Chagcharan in 2008.
Lithuanian civilian and military personnel in Ghor executes the peacekeeping mission along with colleagues from Georgia, Japan, USA, Poland, Finland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.