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NEWS | May 1, 2011

Rhode Island MP Brigade tapped to carry-out DFIP transition efforts

By MCC (SW) Maria Yager , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (May 1, 2011) — Rhode Island National Guard 43rd Military Police Brigade, Task Force Protector assumed responsibility for the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) from Michigan National Guard 46th Military Police Command, Task Force Peacekeeper, during a transfer of authority ceremony April 28.

“The Soldiers of Task Force Peacekeeper have made a lasting impact as we transition detention operations to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said Michael Scionti, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 (CJIATF-435) civilian deputy. “What you’ve done here in your time in detention operations is historic and strategically significant to our country and our mission in Afghanistan.”

Task Force Peacekeeper, commanded by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mandi A. Murray, was responsible for oversight of detention operations at the DFIP, including ensuring the humane care and custody of detainees, partnering with the Afghan National Army (ANA) in preparation for the conditions-based transition of the DFIP to the Afghan government, and overseeing further construction of the ANA Logistical Support Area adjacent to the DFIP and the Justice Center in Parwan.

During its yearlong deployment, Task Force Peacekeeper saw ten cohorts of ANA Soldiers complete DFIP-specific training and join the guard force, marking significant progress toward the ANA’s ability to properly man the facility.

As a result the ANA was able to assume the majority of responsibility for its first detainee housing unit last October, steadily increasing their mission capability. By January of this year the ANA and Task Force Peacekeeper met their most significant milestone to date, when the first Afghan-run housing unit came online.

“You transitioned part of this facility and continue to transition it to your Afghan partners,” said Scionti. “We are on track in making significant progress but we cannot lose our focus as we work closely with our Afghan partners to responsibly transfer these detention facilities.”

Task Force Protector Commander U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Charles E. Petrarca said he is honored to assume command of the DFIP and that he and his Soldiers will continue Task Force Peacekeeper work toward the conditions-based transition of the facility to the Afghan government.

“I pledge my staff and I will endeavor to cultivate a relationship whereby we can learn as much from you as you from us,” said Petrarca. “The success of the ANA in this mission is our success. We must do this mission together as partners.”

The 43rd MP Brigade previously deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They deployed to Iraq in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the exercised command and control of all Theater Internment Facilities in support of Task Force 134 and Multi National Force Iraq and oversaw the Iraqi Corrections Officer Academy.

The DFIP, a state-of-the-art theater internment facility, was completed in September 2009 and occupied by detainees in late December 2009. The DFIP is equipped with a medical facility, on-site family visitation center, vocational facilities and educational classrooms. The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to better align detainee operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, the judicial sector and biometrics.   CJIATF-435 is currently conducting a conditions-based transition of detention operations to Afghan control while promoting Rule of Law practices.