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Change of Command at Resolute Support Mission
BRUSSELS - U.S. General John W. Nicholson, Jr. assumed command of NATO's Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces – Afghanistan from U.S. General John F. Campbell in a ceremony today at Resolute Support Headquarters.
As commander of the Resolute Support mission, General Nicholson will lead NATO's effort to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions, and help them further improve their effectiveness and sustainability. Immediately before his appointment, he served with distinction as commander of NATO's Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey. General Nicholson joins the Resolute Support mission having previously served in multiple roles in Afghanistan, including as Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations for the International Security Assistance Force, his experience and leadership will prove invaluable in guiding the continuing efforts in Afghanistan.
In his remarks, General Nicholson praised the people of Afghanistan as well as the Afghan and Coalition forces. "I believe that all who have fought bravely within the Afghan security forces and the Coalition are heroes. But the real heroes of this conflict are the Afghan people – those Afghan leaders here in the capital who take on the tough job of creating and running a government, and those in the villages and towns of Afghanistan whose lives have indeed been improved in the years since 2001, but who also have had to face the uncertainty and losses involved in this conflict."
General Campbell, finishing his third tour in Afghanistan, served as the last Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and was the first Commander of the Resolute Support mission. Under his tenure, the Afghan forces stepped up to new challenges, and assumed responsibility for security across the country. General Campbell has made an outstanding contribution towards achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today.
When speaking directly to Afghan leaders at the change of command ceremony General Campbell said, "The patriotism, sacrifice, and strength you display in even the most trying of times inspires me. I am proud to call you brothers and sisters in arm, as well as friends. We too, have experienced many difficult moments together and it is because of your dedication, what I see in you, and in the eyes of young Afghans when I speak to them that I have hope".
The ceremony was attended by senior Afghan, NATO and U.S. civilian and military officials.
Story by NATO HQ and Resolute Support Mission Public Affairs Office