The 101st Airborne Division unfurled its colors at Bagram Airfield, Sunday, marking the start of the unit’s fourth Afghanistan deployment in the last decade.

During past deployments to the country, the 101st was focused on the eastern provinces. Now, though, the division will oversee NATO’s Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist Afghan government operations across the nation, according to an Army press release.

The division’s commander, Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, and senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims, spoke at the ceremony, as they took the reins from their counterparts in the 3rd Infantry Division.

101st Airborne Division Soldiers prepare to evacuate a casualty as an HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter lands during a combined arms live-fire training exercise at Tactical Base Gamberi May 13, 2015. The exercise was conducted by Train Advise Assist Command-East to demonstrate opportunities for the 201st Afghan National Army Corps to plan, manage and conduct combined arms training on their ranges. (Army)
101st Airborne Division Soldiers prepare to evacuate a casualty as an HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter lands during a combined arms live-fire training exercise at Tactical Base Gamberi May 13, 2015. The exercise was conducted by Train Advise Assist Command-East to demonstrate opportunities for the 201st Afghan National Army Corps to plan, manage and conduct combined arms training on their ranges. (Army)

During the ceremony, Poppas said it was encouraging to see the change and progress in Afghanistan since the unit was in charge of Regional Command-East in 2008.

"Not only are the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces fully responsible for Afghanistan's security nationwide, but routinely conducting independent and combined arms operations,” Poppas said. “We have gone from an active combat role or partnered operations to merely training, advising and assisting these capable Afghan combat formations — a monumental and hard-fought achievement."

Poppas will be serving as both the Resolute Support deputy chief of staff for operations and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan deputy commanding general for operations.

The 3rd Infantry Division helped craft the new deputy chief role that Poppas will assume, which reflects how the U.S. forces in the country have transitioned “from a posture of leaving Afghanistan to a strategy focused on winning,” Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander, said at the ceremony.

A soldier with the 101st Airborne Division Alpha Battery 1-320th fires an AT-4 as Combat Outpost Nolen on the outskirts of the village of Jellawar in the Arghandab Valley came under Taliban attack on September 11, 2010. The attack came at a time when the 101st was in a much more kinetic role in the country. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)
A soldier with the 101st Airborne Division Alpha Battery 1-320th fires an AT-4 as Combat Outpost Nolen on the outskirts of the village of Jellawar in the Arghandab Valley came under Taliban attack on September 11, 2010. The attack came at a time when the 101st was in a much more kinetic role in the country. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

In this new role, Poppas helps synchronize all operations in Afghanistan for both support functions and combat-enabling functions with Afghan security forces at the tactical level, according to the release.

"I couldn't think of two better outfits to have here in Afghanistan at the same time," Nicholson said about the 3rd Infantry and 101st Airborne Divisions. "I feel really fortunate that we've been blessed with these two fine divisions to serve here."

Prior to deploying to Afghanistan, the 101st did a train-up at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which included three warfighter exercises.

The training echoed the ability of his staff to carry out their new mission and enable the Afghan forces, Poppas said.

"The hard-won gains in Afghanistan, by the Afghans and NATO, remain fragile, but are worth defending," said Poppas. "I look forward to working alongside each to bring peace and stability to this nation.”