FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Iraq - Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, took part in a transfer of authority ceremony in Kirkuk, Oct. 11.

While Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, cased their colors, 2-12 Cav. Soldiers uncased theirs, accepting authority for the same area of operations while supporting Operation New Dawn.

"This marks the formal transition from 1-30th Infantry to us, it means we now own the mission," said 2-12 battalion commander, Lt. Col. Joseph Holland. "It is important because we no longer have anyone over watching us. The training wheels are off now and we're riding on our own."

For the last month, Cav Soldiers have worked with 1-30th counterparts, the Iraqi police and the Iraqi Army to get them ready for their year-long deployment.

"Our mission is to impartially advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces in our area of operation in order to neutralize the violent extremists, secure the people of Kirkuk, and reduce the tensions politically," said Holland.

Conducting joint patrols and assisting in check point security, Soldiers will use this time to help the Iraqis become independent, enabling them to take control of their country.

"We're the closers, we've built the lead and have had great success with our Iraqi counterparts, we just need to be able to hand off the security mission to the ISF and have them do it as well as they want to; not as good as us or how we want them to, but as well as they want to be to provide for their country, Holland said."

Making history, Soldiers are eager to work with their counterparts and help stabilize the country.
"I'm expecting to see the IA and IP really stand up and show us what they have as far as protecting themselves, civilians, and the land," said Spc. Raymond Copeland, an infantryman from Lawton, Okla. " We've been training with the Iraqis for years, to see them take the front row seat, it's like watching a child grow and learn. I'm expecting to see good things."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16