Marine commander who stood against Hurricane Florence is headed to lead Marines in Afghanistan: The Marine commander who prepped the sprawling Marine base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for the onslaught of Hurricane Florence left for Afghanistan on Oct. 11 to command the next rotation of Marine advisers in Helmand province.
Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford, the now former commander of Marine Corps Installations East, will relieve the current commander of Task Force Southwest, Brig. Gen. Benjamin T. Watson, according to a command release.
Task Force Southwest currently is in its second iteration to Helmand province, Afghanistan, where roughly 300 Marine advisers have been training and rebuilding the Afghan 215th Corps and 505th Zone National Police.
That rotation is slated to be replaced soon, but not all the Marines with the new third rotation of Task Force Southwest are currently on deck, according to Maj. Joshua Benson, a Marine spokesman.
The current rotation will start a hand over process commonly called a “RIP” or “left-seat, right seat ride” where the incoming rotation of Marines will be briefed on their new area of operations and lessons learned about their battle space. Before deploying to head up the new rotation of Marines in Afghanistan, Alford was the base commander of Camp Lejeune.
In September, Alford was derided on Facebook by an angry mob of families of Marines stuck in the path of a powerful hurricane that was barreling toward the base. Cont. in comments...