KABUL – Massachusetts Army National Guardsmen participated in a Transfer of Authority Ceremony in Patriot Square, Camp Phoenix here April 21, 2011.
Army Col. John A. Hammond, Commander of the 26th “Yankee” Brigade, Massachusetts Army National Guard assumed command of the Task Force Yankee and responsibility for the Kabul Base Cluster.
More than 9,000 Servicemembers, contractors and coalition forces live and work on the KBC. The 26th “Yankee” Brigade provides command and control, security and support operations for the nearly 9,000 U.S. and coalition forces operating in the capital region.
Attending the ceremony were contractors from several organizations as well as coalition forces from Bulgaria, Canada, France and Mongolia.
To express his appreciation for their support Hammond said, “I would like to thank the leadership of the many organizations that comprise the 9,000 folks that live and serve within the Kabul Base Cluster. Your efforts each day bring us closer to a successful completion of this important mission. We stand ready to support you to ensure your success,” said Hammond.
The 26th replaced the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, South Dakota Army National Guard, commanded by Army Brig. Gen. Theodore Johnson.
Hammond also articulated the spirit of cooperation between the two Brigades saying, “I would like to formally thank Brig. Gen. Johnson and his Task Force Rushmore Team from the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade for their hospitality and support. The Rushmore Team has brought the Kabul Base Cluster from concept to full operational capability during their tour of duty. On behalf of the Yankee Brigade Leadership and Soldiers I want to express our thanks and appreciation for your service,” said Hammond.