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Spartan Steel assumes command in Khowst
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Lt. Col. Stephen Smith, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment commander, welcomes his unit during a transfer of authority ceremony March 10 in the Khowst Province of eastern Afghanistan.

photo by Pfc. Andrya Hill/4th BCT, 25th ID PAO

Lt. Col. Stephen Smith, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment commander, welcomes his unit during a transfer of authority ceremony March 10 in the Khowst Province of eastern Afghanistan.

Pfc. Andrya Hill
4th BCT, 25th ID PAO

KHOWST, Afghanistan Lt. Col. Stephen Smith, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division commander, took over responsibility for forces in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, from Lt. Col. David Ell, Task Force Glory, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Infantry Division commander, Saturday during a transfer of authority ceremony.

For the past year, accomplishing mission and combat-oriented goals was attributed to the solid partnership Task Force Glory created with the Afghanistan National Security Forces in Khowst.

"The Soldiers of Task Force Glory have been extremely impressed with the professionalism and dedication that we have seen every day partnering with the ANSF," Ell said. "We have built the bonds that only comrades in arms can fully appreciate. It has been a very rewarding friendship for Task Force Glory, and it has been an honor to stand amongst their ranks."

With the assumption of authority in Khowst, Smith will now have to deal with the kinetics of the situation and the responsibility of nurturing the relationships built by his predecessors.

"Today we are proud to become full-fledged members of team Khowst," Smith said.  "We are very eager to continue the strong partnerships and true friendships that Task Force Glory fostered with our brave Afghan Security Force brothers and the skilled civilian leaders of the Khowst Province."

As Task Force Glory relinquished authority, Ell emphasized his expectancy of the battalion to continue their efforts and accomplish the mission.

"Task Force Steel, I wish you the best of luck throughout the next year, and I know that you will find your deployment as rewarding as we have," he said.  "I challenge you all to continue the great progress made throughout the past year."

Smith accepted the challenge, committing to further the partnership with the ANSF and area officials, as well as expressing his determination to bring increased stability to the province.

"I promise you the same level of support, partnership and genuine friendship that Task Force Glory has demonstrated during their time here," he said. "We are excited to be here and look forward to working with all of our Afghan brothers, friends and comrades in arms to make Khowst a better place for future generations."