It’s a time of change in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Marines at Camp Leatherneck are in the midst of a transition from I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to II MEF Fwd. The change of command from Maj. Gen. Richard Mills to Maj. Gen. John Toolan hasn’t occurred yet, but it likely will soon. First Marine Division (Fwd.), commanded by Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, already has stepped down in favor of 2nd MARDIV Fwd. That unit is known in Afghanistan as Task Force Leatherneck, and will be commanded for the next year by Brig. Gen. Lewis Craparotta.
The transition doesn’t end there, though. First Battalion, 23rd Marines, out of Houston, Texas, has taken over for 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, out of Brook Park, Ohio. Marines with 1/23 will handle a variety of missions, including providing security at Leatherneck, the main hub of Marine operations in southern Afghanistan, Marine officials said.
Third Battalion, 25th Marines has been spread across Helmand and Nimroz provinces, with missions in Sangin, Marjah, Delaram and other districts.