101st returns to Afghanistan, but different role - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

101st returns to Afghanistan, but different role

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By KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - The 101st Airborne Division is headed back to Afghanistan for the third time in five years, but the division's commanding general, Maj. Gen. James McConville, says his forces have to be more adaptive and agile as they set the stage for the 2014 withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.

About 600 of McConville's top staff are leaving now to command NATO troops east of the capital of Kabul, where thousands of Fort Campbell troops are currently serving. But unlike the division's previous two tours, McConville told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday this isn't a return to the same deadly fights with insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.

McConville says the Afghan military is leading combat operations now and the division's role is to smooth the transition for Afghan security forces.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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