BELGIUM–(ENEWSPF)–21 May 2010. Today, the North Atlantic Council, in consultation with non-NATO ISAF Troop Contributing Nations, gave final authorisation for the reorganisation of ISAF’s Regional Command South and the establishment of an additional Regional Command South-West – RC(SW) – in Afghanistan. This new organisation will be effective later this summer.
The new RC(SW) will have responsibility for the Helmand and Nimruz provinces and will be placed initially under the command of the United States. Regional Command South, which is under the command of British Major General Nick Carter, will retain the provinces of Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul and Daikundi.
The decision was taken upon the recommendation by General McChrystal, Commander of ISAF, to optimize the command and control of a Regional Command that has grown exponentially since its transfer to NATO’s command in 2006. With more than 50,000 ISAF troops and eight Afghan National Army Brigades operating in six different provinces, the strain on the span of control would have been too high for Regional Command South in its present configuration. The new structure will ease the burden of Regional Command South and enable more adapted and efficient counter-insurgency operations at the local level.
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) has now been authorized to implement the restructuring. Work in-theatre has already started for the new Regional Command to become fully operational in the summer of 2010.