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Message from the Commander

By USCENTCOM

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Teammates,

For more than a year, this great team, U.S. Central Command, has led the Coalition effort to counter and militarily defeat the terrorist organization, ISIL. It represents a herculean undertaking; and, is of utmost importance given the very real threat that ISIL poses to stability and security in the Central Region, the U.S. homeland, and beyond. We must defeat this enemy; and, together alongside our Coalition partners, we will defeat this enemy.

This fight will take time. This is a long-term campaign. The security environment in Iraq and Syria is incredibly complex, and there are many different elements operating across the battlespace. Key to lasting success is sustained pressure on ISIL, both from the air and on the ground; and, employing indigenous forces to help create and sustain that pressure, while also curbing the flow of foreign fighters and cutting off the enemy's ability to resource himself. We are doing these things and your efforts and those of our Coalition partners are making a real difference. But, again, this campaign will take time and strategic patience.

In the interim, this command is also focused on a host of other challenges present throughout our area of responsibility. Among them, we remain decisively engaged in operations in Afghanistan in support of that country's national security forces. We are providing logistics and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. We recently increased our force protection for U.S. personnel assigned to the Multinational Force of Observers in the Sinai in Egypt. We maintain a close eye on Iran and stand ready to respond to Iranian malign activity in the region. At the same time, we continue to pursue the many opportunities that exist across our 20-country AOR with the goal to move the region in the direction of greater stability and security.

Our mission is a very demanding one, and, going forward, we must be ready to respond to unforeseen events and contingencies that will require us to make adjustments and apply lessons learned. As you have clearly demonstrated, agility and the ability to innovate remain keys to success.

I want to thank all of you - and your families - for your hard work and continued commitment to our mission and the tasks before us. You should know that I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you and proud of this outstanding team. You are the best in the world at what you do, and through your singular and collective efforts you are making an important difference.

Keep up the great work!

GEN AUSTIN
COMCENT

PDF of Commander's letter