NATO announced Sunday that the war will transition into a non-combat role for NATO and officially end Wednesday. About 12,000 NATO and partner-nation personnel will remain to "train, advise and assist" Afghanistan's 350,000 soldiers. The new mission, "Resolute Support," will also concentrate on counter-terrorism.
Violence continued in the country as seven people were killed and five were injured in separate attacks on the same day of the announcement ceremony.
"At the end of this year, we complete our combat mission in Afghanistan and open a new chapter in our relationship," Stoltenberg said. "Many challenges remain, and there is much work still to do. The Afghan security forces will continue to need our help as they develop."
Airstrikes and limited combat support to Afghan forces will continue with President Barack Obama's approval during the new mission. Remaining service members are expected to gradually withdraw, fully leaving the country by the end of 2016.
Formally known as Operation Enduring Freedom, the war has claimed the lives of 2,356 U.S. and 1,129 coalition military personnel.
This year, more than 4,634 Afghan soldiers have died and the United Nations recorded almost 10,000 civilian deaths and injuries.