GRAFENWÖHR, Germany – Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment have taken over a counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province after the Netherlands ended its combat mission there.

On Aug. 1, a force of nearly 1,900 Dutch soldiers ended a four-year International Security Assistance Force mission, which was deeply unpopular at home.

The Vilseck-based 2nd SCR’s 1st Squadron is already conducting operations in Uruzgan, according to Maj. Rob Hoover, public affairs officer for the 2nd SCR. The unit replaced the Dutch 42nd Battle Group, a composite battalion that included mechanized infantry, marines and an air assault unit.

The 2nd SCR joins Australian and Afghan troops who are already fighting in Uruzgan. Those troops are conducting counterinsurgency in the Tarin Kowt, Chora and Deh Rawood districts, 1st Squadron commander Lt. Col. Douglas Sims said in an e-mail Thursday.

“The Taliban still exists in Uruzgan, but they are operating largely on the peripheries of the province with periodic input into the major population centers,” Sims said.

The 1st Squadron is conducting operations in its eight-wheeled Stryker armored personnel carriers, but much of the work is on foot, especially inside cities and villages, Sims said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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