After a 6 month tour 16 Air Assault Brigade handed control of Task Force Helmand to the Royal Marines.
This was epitomised by the handover at Patrol Base Shazad, where responsibility for the Nad-e-Ali North District was transferred from 3 PARA to 42 Commando, Royal Marines. The flag of 3 PARA was lowered and the flag of 42 Cdo raised over the base to mark the arrival of the Royal Marines and the official start of their tour.
Lt Col James Coates, Commanding Officer 3 PARA said:
"When we arrived here, the insurgent was very much in control of the area and local people lived in fear. Over the last six months, we have seen a marked change in atmosphere. Not only have the insurgents virtually left the area but confidence in the Afghan Army and Police has increased dramatically. Locals now feel safe in the knowledge that their own forces are able to provide security with ISAF very much in a supporting role. I am extremely proud of what the whole battlegroup has achieved and I wish 42 Commando every success."
Lt Col Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer 42 Cdo said:
"A great deal has been achieved here in recent months and our job now is to consolidate the progress that has been made by 3 PARA and build upon it. There is still work to be done and we are confident that we have the training and resources to enable us to continue the development of the Afghan Army and Police, to allow them to take a greater lead in providing the security for the people of Nad-e Ali."