Thursday, July 7, 2011

New commander takes charge of PRT Ghazni

In keeping with U.S. Navy Tradition, twenty two bells rang out as distinguished visitors from Task Force White Eagle and the Ghazni provincial government entered the at the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team’s change of command.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Tristan Rizzi, took command of the PRT from U.S. Navy Cmdr John Doolittle, during the ceremony, which also included a short speech by Ghazni Provincial Governor Musa Khan.

“The team has spent many good days with us and we hope the new team will continue this relationship,” said Khan. He added the PRT’s work will continue to live in Afghanistan. “Your good deeds will stay in the minds of the people. You may leave, but your good deeds and good behavior will stay.”

This sentiment of good deeds being remembered was echoed by Doolittle, who during his farewell speech, said the future would remember Ghazni’s officials. “To the government officials, you are the heroes. Your efforts are honorable and you are making a difference,” he said. “You are risking your life each day by working to improve governance in Afghanistan. I thank you. Your families thank you and the children of Afghanistan will thank you in the future.”

After taking command of the PRT, Rizzi assured the audience the work would not stop. “A wise person told me ‘make sure you make a difference,’” he said. “To my Polish counterparts and Afghan patriots, we pledge to continue the outstanding work already started by the previous PRT. My team pledges to make a difference.”

The ceremony ended with several members of the outgoing PRT being awarded medals, and thank you gifts being bestowed upon the departing commander.





 U.S. Navy Commander John Dolitte, outgoing provincial reconstruction team commander, salutes while entering the change of command ceremony July 7, 2011 at Ghazni province Afghanistan.

 Ghazni provincial governor Musa Khan speaks to the audience about the positive impact the provincial reconstruction team had for the future of Ghazni City during the change of command ceremony July 7, 2011 at Ghazni province Afghanistan.

 American, Polish, and Afghanistan leaders and soldiers watch U.S. Navy Commander Tristan Rizzi, incoming provincial reconstruction team commander, accepts command during the change of command ceremony July 7, 2011 at Ghazni province Afghanistan.

 U.S. Navy Commander John Dolitte, outgoing provincial reconstruction team commander, salutes as U.S. Navy Commander Tristan Rizzi, incoming provincial reconstruction team commander, accepts command from Polish Brigade General Andrzej Przekwas, Task Force White Eagle Commander, during the change of command ceremony July 7, 2011 at Ghazni province Afghanistan.

U.S. Navy Commander Tristan Rizzi, incoming provincial reconstruction team commander, speaks to the audience after accepting command during the change of command ceremony July 7, 2011 at Ghazni province Afghanistan.

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