Falcon base transfers to Iraqi government
October 19, 2010
BAGHDAD (Oct. 19, 2010) -- Contingency Operating Site Falcon, in southern Baghdad, was transferred from U.S. control to the government of Iraq Oct. 10 during a formal transfer ceremony.
The handover of COS Falcon, the last scheduled base transfer for 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Division - Center, marked another milestone in the increasing sovereignty of Iraq and the daily growing capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces, officials said.
"Over the past 10 months, we have worked hand-in-hand with our Iraqi brothers for the citizens of the Rasheed district," said Lt. Col. Kirk Dorr, commander of 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st AAB, 3rd Inf. Div. "It has not been an easy journey to this point and undoubtedly we will see more challenges ahead, but together there is nothing we cannot accomplish."
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Richard Hansen, commander of Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st AAB, 3rd Inf. Div., and Sameer Al Haddad, the secretary of receivership for the GoI, signed the final documents which gave control of the base to the GoI.
In addition to Dorr, staff Maj. Gen. Ameed Rukn Shakir Laftah Abdalretha Al-Assadi Akeed, commander of 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, and Col. Kareen Auda Kadham Ashoor Almehna, commander of 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi NP Div., were present for the signing.
COS Falcon is scheduled to be the last of nine bases for which 1st AAB, 3rd Inf. Div. has given full responsibility to the GoI. It is also the largest base transfer on record for USD-C - as most bases are under official control by a company- or battalion-sized element; COS Falcon was under the control of an entire brigade.
This transfer is the result of an almost yearlong partnership between 5th Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt., and the 2nd Iraqi NP Div. A contingent of American forces will remain on the base in a smaller compound in order to continue their partnership, and their role of advising, training and assisting the ISF, for the duration of 1st AAB's deployment, officials said.
"It was the joint work that has had a significant positive impact on the capabilities of our unit's training, logistics and intelligence," said Shakir.
(Pfc. Emily Knitter serves with the 1st AAB, 3rd Inf. Div., U.S. Division - Center.)