Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmond province, is due to pass back to Afghan control on Wednesday, but worsening violence has cast a shadow over the transition process.
NATO forces have been hard at work trying to train enough Afghan soldiers and police to takeover security operations in the volatile area.
The transition is in line with NATO moves to withdraw all foreign troops from the country by the end of 2014.
Not all is going to plan.
Eleven Afghan police were killed on Monday, seven of them in an attack by Taliban gunmen at a checkpoint in the southern city.
The Taliban claimed responsibility and the frequency and scale of the recent violence is a major concern for NATO personel.
On the day the Taliban carried out operations against Afghan security forces General David Petraeus handed over command of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
And Taliban attacks show no sign of abating.