Aviation Week | By Nicholas Fiorenza | 21 May 2010
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan is reorganizing to accommodate US reinforcements. Today, the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s highest decision-making body, gave the final go-ahead for the reorganisation of ISAF’s Regional Command South by spinning off a new Regional Command South-West.
Initially commanded by a US general, the new regional command will be responsible for Helmand and Nimruz provinces. Regional Command South, currently commanded by British Major General Nick Carter, will continue to be responsible for Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul and Daikundi provinces. The changes, which come into effect in the summer, are designed to ease the burden on and increase the effectiveness of Regional Command South, which currently commands over 50,000 ISAF troops and eight Afghan National Army brigades.
The changes are in addition to a German two-star general taking over command of Regional Command North, which has usually been headed by a one-star general. Spiegel magazine reported last month that this post will be occupied by Major General Hans Werner Fritz, who currently commands Germany’s Special Operations Division. With a US Special Forces general as his deputy, Fritz will command some 5,000 US troops reinforcing Regional Command North, including Special Forces operating out of Mazar-e-Sharif. The Bundeswehr fears creeping US control of Regional Command North, according to Spiegel.
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