News Article

UK and US commanders meet in Helmand

A Military Operations news article

18 May 09

In preparation for the 10,000 US troops arriving in Helmand over the next month the Commander of the UK Task Force Helmand met his incoming US Marine counterpart last week.

Brigadier General Larry Nicholson (left) with Brigadier Tim Radford

Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, United States Marine Corps (left), with Brigadier Tim Radford, Commander of Task Force Helmand
[Picture: Sergeant Daniel Wells, RLC]

Brigadier Tim Radford, Commander of Task Force Helmand (TFH), hosted his US counterpart, Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, Commander General of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2 MEB), also known as Task Force Leatherneck (TFL), on 11 and 12 May 2009 at the UK's Helmand headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

The 10,000 US troops coming to Helmand will join the 8,300 UK troops already there and Brigadier General Nicholson said:

"The purpose of this visit is to begin the co-ordination between 2 MEB and TFH for what will be significant changes in Helmand province: the reallocation of battle space, closer co-operation, and working with the PRT [Provisional Reconstruction Team - also based out of Lashkar Gah which co-ordinates reconstruction projects across the province].

"We had a chance to meet the Governor [Gulab Mangal] last night along with Brigadier Tim and Hugh Powell [Head of the PRT], so I think we are in what we call the shaping phase for what we hope will be decisive operations this summer.

"I'm very optimistic that working together we can get something done here.

"This has been the first opportunity for me to meet the Governor and we really had a good chance to talk through to see some of his priorities and the Governor's priorities have quickly become our priorities.

"Our ability to get into population areas quickly, secure them, followed by aggressive work on reconstruction and development by the PRT can't help but have a positive effect."

Brigadier General Larry Nicholson (left) meets Brigadier Tim Radford

United States Brigadier General Larry Nicholson meets his British counterpart, Brigadier Tim Radford, in Lashkar Gah
[Picture: Sergeant Daniel Wells, RLC]

Brigadier Radford said:

"It has been an extremely productive day. TFH and TFL will be working very closely over the coming months to have a combined and complementary effect across Helmand. Together there is an opportunity to have a significant and enduring impact."

This is the first time Brigadier General Nicholson had visited Lashkar Gah. He added:

"We will be seeing a lot of each other in the summer months. I think we [the US and UK] will be extremely closely co-ordinated because if we co-ordinate our actions we will have a significantly greater effect."

The majority of US troops from 2 MEB will be located in the south of Helmand, from the town of Garmsir down to the Pakistan border. They have already established Camp Leatherneck as a forwarding base, next to the UK main base of Camp Bastion, and will be taking over and expanding Forward Operating Base Dwyer, to the west of Garmsir, into Camp Dwyer.

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