|Back in Sept when the 24th MEU gained then returned control of southern Helmand Province to the British & Task Force 2/7 returned some of its provinces to the ANA & ANP; the 24th MEU's Ground Combat Element, 1st BN 6th Marines, returned home.
When this happened Task Force 2/7 & the 24th MEU combined forces. TF 2/7 joined the MEU's HQ Command Element(CE), Air Combat Element (ACE), & Combat Logistics Element (CLE), as the new Ground Combat Element (GCE) to become SPMAGTF-Afghanistan.
The Marines were dispersed in Platoon and sometimes Squad sized elements. Operating at up to 70 miles apart they attached to local ANP stations to conduct mentoring & conducting COIN Ops. BN 2/7 alone was responsible for Controlling an Area of over 10,000 sq. miles before joining the MEU.
In the coming weeks SPMAGTF-A will conduct a RIP (relief in place). Turning the CE over to the CE fr/ Regimental Combat Team 3rd Marines. The GCE will be 3rd BN, 8th Marines. ACE will be a Composite Sqdr fr/ Miramar. CLE will be 3rd Logistics BN fr/ Hawaii.
The Marines have done to Helmand, Garmsir, & Farah the same that they've done in Al Anbar; chased them out of their provinces & sent them into other AO's.
In Iraq Petraeus modified the Marine's Strategy to fit the other AO's & spread it across the rest of the country. Hopefully now as CentCom Cmdr he does the same.