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His job puts him in charge of about 6,000 people and a plot of land nearly the size of West Virginia. Colonel Joseph Wawro calls it a "very exciting mission."
Wawro is commander of the Fourth Infantry Brigade combat team in Afghanistan, located in RC East - Regional Command East. He is tasked with helping the Afghanistan National Army protect the economic corridor.
Wawro was deployed just before June this past year. His group is one of the last combat brigades in Afghanistan. In the early spring, their mission will be complete.
"It's the continued progress," Wawro said. "It continues to show that our Afghanistan partners are capable and credible, especially in the eyes of the people that are in the areas that they operate within."
Soon, security force and advise and assist brigades will take over. They will keep mentoring and honing the skills of the Afghan army.
Wawro said the Afghan troops are learning to defend the country of their own.
In December, a vehicle-borne IED was set to attack a government compound and police headquarters. The Afghan forces stopped that plot and captured six would-be suicide bombers.
"That is tremendous progress that has been made over the past year or so within these forces," Wawro said.
The people of the country are supportive, Wawro said. He said they talk about the Taliban making the fight personal by taking away schools and shopping centers, and threatening their way of life.
Wawro believes the strengths of the Afghan army continue to progress.
"I'm confident," Wawro said. "I see it every day, and I've seen it during our deployment over the past year or so that shows their confidence building, because they have been achieving competence in their skills."
Wawro was a guest on KFDI's "At Issue" program. A copy of the program can be found here.