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Capt. Kerry Ingalls arrives in Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a CH-47 Chinook.

A Submariner Brings His Expertise to
by Commander Naval Submarine Forces Public Affairs

Capt. Kerry Ingalls, commodore of Submarine Squadron 19 in Bangor, Wash., served in Afghanistan from July 2005 to February 2006. While attending the Joint Forces Staff College, he was interviewed by the Commander, Naval Submarine Forces public affairs officer regarding his experience in Afghanistan.

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Capt. Kerry Ingalls (right) posses with Col. Jim Yonts (left) and Col. Mike Chesney in
Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day 2005.

PAO: What was your position in Afghanistan? What were your responsibilities?

Capt. Ingalls: I was in Afghanistan from July 2005 to February 2006. I served as the Director, Political-Military Integration (PMI) on the staff of Commander, Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan (CFC-A), working directly for the Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry. This was a great billet, established just before my arrival, that permitted me to partner with virtually every staff officer, coalition officers, officials in the Afghan government (across the spectrum of ministries, not just in the defense area), and of course our country team at the U.S. embassy as well. PMI was one of the primary directors for the staff, and has two subdivisions: Political-Military Affairs and Civil-Military Affairs. Responsibilities under my Pol-Mil Affairs hat included regional engagement with Pakistan (focused on building an enduring military-to-military relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan), building the Afghan National Security Team and its National Security Policy, and very importantly, aligning he work of CFC-A to complement the mission at the US embassy. Under Civil-Military Affairs, I was responsible for Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) policy, improving governance and justice systems, and strategic reconstruction to promote economic growth. Of course, I had plenty of help both within the CFC-A headquarters and across the spectrum of U.S. and international partners, including colleagues at the U.S. embassy and at the United Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistan. My staff included Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen; Canadians, Brits, Frenchmen, and Romanians.

PAO: How did you come to have this assignment?

Capt. Ingalls: I met Lt. Gen. Eikenberry when we were both assigned to U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Shortly after he was named as the new commander at CFC-A, he extended the generous invitation to join him in Afghanistan. Obviously, this opportunity would not have been realized without the support of submarine force leadership, namely Admirals Munns, Donnelly, and Cassias. I’m very grateful.

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Capt. Ingalls and other CFC-A personnel participate in a tribal council meeting.

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