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Operation Freedom's Sentinel1The longest war in American history has come to a “responsible conclusion” with the withdrawal US and NATO combat forces from Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama has said but warned that the country remains “a dangerous place.”

“Our personnel will continue to face risks, but this reflects the “enduring commitment of the United States to the Afghan people” and to a united, secure and sovereign Afghanistan that is never again used as a source of attacks against our nation,” Obama said.

After more than 13 years in Afghanistan, U.S. commanders and their NATO allies lowered the organization’s flag in Kabul, formally ending Operation Enduring Freedom and introducing a new mission — “Resolute Support” — in the country.

But there’s another related mission also now underway: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement Sunday that will include two core components: working with allies and partners on Resolute Support , and continuing “counterterrorism operations against the remnants of Al-Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against our homeland.”

Philippines (OEF-P)After 13 years, it’s a significant change for the military. “OEF,” as Operation Enduring Freedom is commonly known among rank-and-file troops, includes not only operations in Afghanistan, but efforts to target militants and train friendly military’s as part of Philippines (OEF-P) and OEF-Trans Sahara. Like Operation Iraqi Freedom, the OEF acronym became a part of the troops’ lexicon and was incorporated in everything from awards to bumper stickers.

The Philippines mission has been slowly winding down. U.S. officials said that it was disbanding a Special Operations task force based there to train Philippine police and military forces as they face Abu Sayyaf extremists. Admiral Samuel Locklear, the outgoing chief of U.S. Pacific Command, said last April that the mission wouldn’t go away completely, but shift in part to focus on training a Philippine police force to protect its southern islands, where insurgents are active.

Trans SaharaThe Trans Sahara mission, meanwhile, ultimately took on the name Juniper Shield as it was broadened to include more countries across northern Africa, according to a 2012 report for the Congressional Research Service. The Web site GlobalSecurity.org noted that both OEF-TS and Juniper Shield were in use by the military earlier this year.

The Freedom’s Sentinel moniker was greeted with a mixed reaction. Some wondered whether it was “cool” enough, while others raised the question whether it sounded a little too much like something out of a comic book. It comes as the Afghan government struggles with a series of high-profile attacks and brutally high casualty numbers among its police and army units.

Hagel said that through “enduring security cooperation” the United States will continue to assist the Afghan government to build its capacity and self-sufficiency.

“We will continue to work with our Afghan partners to secure the great progress we have made since 2001 and to seize this defining moment of opportunity for Afghanistan’s future,” he added.

Freedoms Sentinal.jpg

Operation Enduring Freedom.jpgHagel said that through “enduring security cooperation” the United States will continue to assist the Afghan government to build its capacity and self-sufficiency.

“We will continue to work with our Afghan partners to secure the great progress we have made since 2001 and to seize this defining moment of opportunity for Afghanistan’s future,” he added.

 

ISAFA new mission needs a new flag! And probably arm patches, cap patches, new stationery , golf shirts, coffee cups, golf tees, pens and the other impedimenta of the new ‘corporate’ military.

While green has a significant meaning for Muslims, it’s not a color generally associated with either US, or European cultures. In fact, associated with New year or Christmas – in Celtic cultures – it’s downright bad luck.

And Muslims wouldn’t appreciate it being festooned with the trappings of western militarism the fringe and the two, very large, Roman letters (reminders of the failed International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission).

 

 

 

Related:

‘Operation Freedom’s Sentinel’ – Military.com

Defense.gov News Release: Statement by Secretary of …

Amid Confusion, DoD Names New Mission ‘Operation …

Pentagon will call new US mission in Afghanistan ‘Operation …

Pentagon Afghanistan War officially ends – Military Times

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

Operation Enduring Freedom – GlobalSecurity.org

Obama, Hagel Mark End of Operation Enduring Freedom

Resolute Support – Afghanistan – Afghan War News

Mission | Resolute Support Mission – Isaf – Nato

NATO – ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)

 

 

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