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The 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division has formally taken responsibility for areas in Afghanistan that have fallen under the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team for the past 15 months.

The transfer of authority, held last week at Forward Operating Base Fenty, ends a tour that saw the 173rd engage in heavy fighting while expanding the "footprint" of U.S. troops into areas where they previously had not been.

Now the 1st ID unit — which will be known as Task Force Duke while in country — will continue where the 173rd troops left off.

"We understand that while we have been handed a difficult mission, we are well-trained and capable," said Col. John Spiszer, commander of the 3rd Brigade.

"My intent is to continue on the same path that the 173rd Airborne Task Force Bayonet did, and to continue making improvements, carrying the ball the next 10 yards, so to speak, because they’ve got a good plan and a good strategy that they’ve been executing," he said.

The 3rd Brigade deployed from Fort Hood, Texas.

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