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This list covers coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2012. See the article Participants in Operation Enduring Freedom for coalition support for Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2001 to 2003. For coalition forces involved in NATO combat operations in the past, see the articles Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2006, Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2007, and Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2008. See also article International Security Assistance Force.

The ISAF seal.

The ISAF flag.

Below is the disposition and structure of international military forces that were participating in the War in Afghanistan in November 2012, listing deployed units under the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which controlled both combat and reconstruction operations (often led by the Provincial Reconstruction Teams). During its existence from 2001 to 2014, ISAF comprised units from many countries. In this article, units are assumed to be from the United States unless otherwise stated. This list is a rough and unofficial listing of units and formations.

International Security Assistance Force

An ISAF soldier from the U.S. 25th Infantry Division patrolling the Paktya Province in January 2012.

An ISAF soldier from the U.S. 4th Infantry Division during a joint operation with Afghan police in Kandahar in February 2012.

An ISAF Marine walking alongside Afghan children in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in April 2012.

ISAF soldiers with Afghan policemen in April 2012.

ISAF soldiers in Farah Province in April 2012.

An ISAF soldier in May 2012.

An ISAF sailor in June 2012.

An ISAF sailor in June 2012.

ISAF soldiers in July 2012.

An ISAF soldier in August 2012 engaged in battle.

ISAF soldiers in August 2012.

An Afghan soldier in November 2012.

An Afghan policeman in December 2012.

The overall command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in 2012 started from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at Casteau, Belgium. The overall command was vested in Joint Force Command Brunssum at Brunssum in the Netherlands, then the Commander ISAF (COMISAF). The COMISAF in 2012 was USMC general Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul.

There were three subordinate commands under COMISAF: the Intermediate Joint Command, which controls the tactical battle along the lines of the Multi-National Corps Iraq; the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, which trains the Afghan National Army; and Special Operations Forces.

The Intermediate Joint Command in turn controlled the regional commands, roughly analogous to divisions. There were six regional commands: Capital (at Kabul), South, Southwest, North, East, and West. Each regional command had a headquarters to provide command and control and logistics support for its area of responsibility, and comprised both combat units and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).

Overall ISAF structure as of 2009.

Regional Command Capital

  • Commander: Brigadier General Rafet Sevinc Sasmaz (Turkey)
  • Headquarters: Kabul
  • Area of responsibility: Kabul Province

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
1st Battalion Motorized Task Force (Turkey) Camp Dogan, Kabul Responsible for Kabul Province.
2nd Battalion Motorized Task Force (Turkey) Camp Gazi, Kabul Responsible for Kabul Province.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Regional Command Capital has no Provincial Reconstruction Teams.

Regional Command South

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
76th Brigade Combat Team
Combined Team Uruzgan
Camp Holland, Tarin Kowt Responsible for Orūzgān Province.
3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
(Task Force Arrowhead)
FOB Masum Ghar, Panjwaye Responsible for Zabul Province and southern and eastern Kandahar Province
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
(Task Force Lancer)
Camp Nathan Smith Responsible for Kandahar City and Arghandab District.
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
(Task Force Wings)
Kandahar Airfield Aviation support for Regional Command South.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Designation Composition Headquarters Sponsors
PRT Kandahar Kandahar Lead country: U.S.
PRT Uruzgan Tarin Kowt Lead country: Australia
PRT Zabul Qalat Lead country: U.S.
Supporting countries: Romania
United Kingdom

Regional Command Southwest

  • Commander: Major General Charles M. Gurganus (USMC)
  • Headquarters: Camp Leatherneck, Helmand
  • Area of Operations: Helmand and Nimruz Provinces

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
12th Mechanized Brigade (United Kingdom)
(Task Force Helmand)
MOB Lashkar Gah Conducts ground operations in central Helmand Province.
6th US Marine Regiment.png Regimental Combat Team 6
(Task Force Leatherneck)
Camp Leatherneck Responsible for Nimruz Province and northern and southern Helmand Province.
3MAW embossed.png 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Camp Leatherneck Aviation support in Helmand and Nimruz Provinces.
Joint Aviation Group (United Kingdom) Camp Bastion Headquarters for British aviation units.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

  • PRT Helmand (Lead nation: United Kingdom)
Designation Composition Headquarters Sponsors
PRT Helmand Lashkar Gah Lead nation: UK

Regional Command East

  • Commander: Major General Bill Mayville, USA
  • Headquarters: Bagram Airfield
  • Area of responsibility: Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktia, Panjshir, Parwan and Wardak Provinces and Surobi District of Kabul Province

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
(Task Force Dragon)
FOB Sharana Responsible for Paktika Province.
4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
(Task Force Warrior)
Jalalabad Airfield Responsible for Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan, and Kunar Provinces.
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
(Task Force Bayonet)
FOB Shank, Logar Responsible for Logar and Wardak Provinces.
101st Combat Aviation Brigade
(Task Force Destiny)
Bagram Airfield Provides aviation support for eastern and northern Afghanistan.
4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
(Task Force Spartan)
FOB Salerno, Khost Responsible for Khost and Paktia Provinces.
2nd Armored Brigade (France)
(Task Force Lafayette)
FOB Nijrab, Kapisa Responsible for Kapisa Province.
6th Airborne Brigade (Task Force White Eagle, Poland) FOB Ghazni Responsible for Ghazni Province.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Designation Composition Headquarters Sponsors
Prt lowgar.jpg PRT Logar 200 military personnel
10 civilians
FOB Shank Lead nation: Czech Republic[1]
PRT Ghazni Lead nation: Poland
Supporting nation: U.S.
Provincial Reconstruction Team (New Zealand) Bamiyan, Bamiyan Province Lead nation: New Zealand
PRT Kapisa Lead nation: U.S.
Supporting nation: France
PRT Parwan Lead nation: South Korea
PRT Wardak Lead nation: Turkey
PRT Panjshir Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Paktika Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Mehtar Lam Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Khost FOB Salerno Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Nangahar Jalalabad Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Patkia Gardez Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Kunar Asadabad Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Nuristan Lead nation: U.S.

Regional Command North

  • Commander: Major General Erich Pfeffer, Germany
  • Headquarters: Mazar-i-Sharif
  • Area of responsibility – Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Jowzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Sar-e Pul and Takhar Provinces.

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
Task Force Kunduz (Germany) FOB Kunduz Operating in eastern Regional Command North.
Task Force Mazar-e-Sharif (Germany) Camp Marmal Operating in western Regional Command North.
Expeditionary Air Wing Mazar-e-Sharif (Germany) Camp Marmal Aviation support for northern Afghanistan.
3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment (United States)
(Task Force Garry Owen)
FOB Kunduz Operating in Kunduz province

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Designation Composition Headquarters Sponsors
PRT Kunduz Lead nation: Germany
Supporting countries: Armenia
PRT Mazar-i-Sharif Lead nations: Finland and Sweden
Supporting countries: U.S.
PRT Meymaneh Lead nation: Norway
Supporting countries: Latvia
PRT Pul-e Khumri Lead nation: Hungary
Supporting nations: Albania
PRT Faizabad Lead nation: Germany
Supporting nations: Mongolia

Regional Command West[2]

  • Commander: Brigadier General Dario Mari Ranieri, Italy
  • Headquarters: Camp Arena, Herat
  • Area of responsibility: Badghis, Farah, Ghor, and Herat Provinces
  • Airfields: Herat International Airport, Shindand Air Base

Combat units

Unit Headquarters Tasking
Task Force Badghis (Spain) Qala-e-Naw Operating in Badghis Province.
3rd Alpine Regiment, Italy
(Task Force Center)
Camp La Marmora, Shindand Operating in southern Herat Province.
32nd Engineer Regiment, Italy
(Task Force Genio)
Herat Engineer support for western Afghanistan.
9th Alpine Regiment, Italy
(Task Force South)
Camp El Alamein, Farah Operating in western Farah Province.
2nd Alpine Regiment, Italy
(Task Force Southeast)
Camp Lavaredo, Bakwa District Operating in eastern Farah Province.
7th Aviation Regiment, Italy
(Task Force Fenice)
Herat Airfield Providing aviation support for western Afghanistan.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Unit Sub-units Headquarters Tasking
PRT Herat Lead nation: Italy
PRT Farah Lead nation: U.S.
PRT Qal'ah-ye Now Lead nation: Spain
PRT Chagcharan Lead nation: Lithuania

U.S.-led coalition

In 2012, the overall command of the U.S.-led coalition effort in Afghanistan—known as Operation Enduring Freedom—Afghanistan—was headquartered at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, which reported to United States Central Command. OEF-Afghanistan's two major commands in 2012 were Combined Joint Task Force 101, and the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A).[3] After the Stage IV transition of authority to ISAF, the status of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade/Task Force Falcon, which handles all the helicopter combat aviation duties in Afghanistan, was uncertain, along with the exact status of Combined Task Force Sword, the engineer task force, and the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. It was unclear exactly what units are assigned to OEF-Afghanistan, but the operation in 2012 was in charge of counter-terrorist operations, including pursuing al-Qaeda along Afghanistan’s inhospitable border region with Pakistan.[4]

Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A)
  • In 2012, this command was responsible for training the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police through its headquarters and Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Phoenix.[5] CSTC-A was responsible for mentoring the ministries of defense and interior, while CJTF Phoenix was responsible for mentoring Afghan National Army corps and below and Afghan National Police districts and below. CJTF Phoenix was headquartered by the 33rd Brigade Combat Team, Illinois Army National Guard, which relieved the 27th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard in late 2008, which relieved the 218th Brigade Combat Team, South Carolina Army National Guard in early 2008. The rest of the task force was made up of National Guard and Reserve personnel from 42 states, U.S. Marine Corps reservists, active duty representatives from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, and soldiers assigned from France, Germany, Romania, Canada, New Zealand, Mongolia, and the United Kingdom.


  1. "ISAF – Provincial Reconstruction Team in Logar". 
  2. For more on Regional Command West, see "The Italian Job". (5 November 2008) and the Jane's Interview, same issue.
  3. United States Central Command, CSTC-A Official Website Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Securing Afghanistan". 
  5. Florida Army National Guard, Task Force Phoenix Archived 1 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

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