Jan. 1, 2016

Joint Force Observations of Retrograde Operations from Afghanistan

Numerous articles have highlighted the monumental and complex efforts by U.S. and coalition forces to draw down the force, close operating bases, and remove the equipment and supplies that accumulated throughout Afghanistan during 13 years of combat operations. The signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA) late in 2014 with the Afghanistan government had a profound impact on our ability to close the retrograde mission by December 2014. Prior to the signing of the agreement, there was a legitimate concern that we would have to rapidly accelerate throughput across all available means and modes if conditions in the BSA were unfavorable to our forces and coalition partners. Anticipating this situation, the responsible force drawdown, materiel retrograde, and base closure and transfer missions were collectively the top priority for the commander of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) throughout 2014.