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Ex-Schofield chief receives prominent Afghan posting


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POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009

TOPEKA, Kan. » A former Schofield Barracks and Pacific Command general has been picked to help train local army and police forces in Afghanistan.

On Monday, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV left his job as commanding general of Fort Leavenworth in Kansas to take on his appointment as commander of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.

The Senate confirmed his appointment on Oct 28.

; Caldwell will join the war's top U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who is pushing for more help in developing Afghanistan's fledging military.

In 2001, Caldwell served as the assistant commander of the 25th Infantry, before becoming deputy director for operations for the U.S. Pacific Command. He also commanded the 25th Infantry Division's Wolfhound battalion in 1993.

Caldwell's father and grandfather, both West Point graduates, also served at Schofield Barracks. His father graduated from Leilehua High School and his grandfather, Col. William Caldwell II, was an Army dentist at Schofield when the Japanese attacked in 1941.

John Nagl, president of the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., said Caldwell's nomination is a recognition by the Pentagon of the importance of the mission, elevating the command from a two-star to three-star general.

Nagl noted the deployment of a 82nd Airborne Division brigade to train Afghan forces, but he said more troops and resources will be needed.

The appointment comes as Obama reviews McChrystal's assessment of the war and the need to develop Afghanistan's military to fight a resurgent Taliban.