• A joint forces color guard stands ready as Capt. Matthew Harakas, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, begins the Transfer of Authority ceremony at Al Faw Palace, Victory Base Complex in Iraq.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    A joint forces color guard stands ready as Capt. Matthew Harakas, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, begins the Transfer of Authority ceremony at Al Faw Palace, Victory Base Complex in Iraq.

  • The joint forces color guard looks small next to the massive columns in the Al Faw Palace rotunda.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    The joint forces color guard looks small next to the massive columns in the Al Faw Palace rotunda.

  • 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB) Commander Lt. Col. Richard Wholey and Command Sgt. Maj. Jewell McCullough prepare the unit colors for casing. Soldiers of the 151st ESB operated, maintained and protected one of the largest strategic networks in the world during their 10-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB) Commander Lt. Col. Richard Wholey and Command Sgt. Maj. Jewell McCullough prepare the unit colors for casing. Soldiers of the 151st ESB operated, maintained and protected one of the largest strategic networks...

  • Their colors cased, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Richard Wholey and Command Sgt. Maj. Jewell McCullough enjoy the rest of the ceremony. The South Carolina National Guard unit will uncase their colors upon their return to the palmetto state.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    Their colors cased, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Richard Wholey and Command Sgt. Maj. Jewell McCullough enjoy the rest of the ceremony. The South Carolina National Guard unit will uncase their colors upon their return to the...

  • Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Kathy Fox and Command Sgt. Maj. Shannon Cromartie uncase the 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary) colors, formally accepting responsibility for the U.S. Signal mission in Iraq.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Kathy Fox and Command Sgt. Maj. Shannon Cromartie uncase the 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary) colors, formally accepting responsibility for the U.S. Signal mission in Iraq.

  • 160th Signal Brigade Commander Col. Maria Barrett lists the many milestones achieved by the 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Soldiers of the 15st ESB deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and Bahrain in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    160th Signal Brigade Commander Col. Maria Barrett lists the many milestones achieved by the 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Soldiers of the 15st ESB deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and Bahrain in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom...

  • Lt. Col. Kathy Fox, 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary) Commander, addresses the troops at Al Faw Palace on Victory Base Complex, Baghdad, Iraq. With the drawdown of forces looming in Iraq, Soldiers of the 50th will face some unique challenges.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    Lt. Col. Kathy Fox, 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary) Commander, addresses the troops at Al Faw Palace on Victory Base Complex, Baghdad, Iraq. With the drawdown of forces looming in Iraq, Soldiers of the 50th will face some unique challenges.

  • Col. (P) Kaffia Jones, Commanding General of 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional) greets Brig. Gen. Ra’ed Shaker Khudhair, the Iraq Army G6, at the Transfer of Authority ceremony at Al Faw Palace.

    Transfer of Authority in Iraq

    Col. (P) Kaffia Jones, Commanding General of 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional) greets Brig. Gen. Ra’ed Shaker Khudhair, the Iraq Army G6, at the Transfer of Authority ceremony at Al Faw Palace.

The 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), Task Force Palmetto, cased their colors June 20, marking the ceremonial completion of their mission in Iraq during a Transfer of Authority (TOA) to 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary).

The ceremony took place at Al Faw Palace on Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, Iraq.

Since their arrival in Southwest Asia in September, 2010, the 151st ESB has operated, maintained and protected Theater Operational Base Communications Systems, providing exceptional tactical communications support for U.S. Army Central Command missions across the region.

Commander Col. Maria B. Barrett, 160th Signal Brigade, lauded the 151st ESB for their achievements during the unit’s 10-month deployment. “History will record that the 151st left Iraq with an unprecedented reputation for customer service and mission accomplishment,” she said. “The missions accomplished were complex and technically challenging, yet they quantifiably improved reliability, responsiveness and security across the spectrum of all the services they provided.”

Lt. Col. Richard A. Wholey, Jr., 151st ESB Commander, said it was surreal to hand over the “largest, most complex operational base communication network ever to support the active war zone.”

“It seems like only yesterday we uncased our colors and assumed responsibility of this extraordinary mission,” Wholey told his Soldiers. “You deployed across 20 locations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain as true professionals. We were the first, and now the last, Reserve Component ESB to deploy to Iraq.”

The 50th Signal Battalion (Expeditionary), Task Force Twin Lions, takes over stewardship of the vast communications network during a time of uncertainty, as the U.S. transitions toward the responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq.

“We understand the nature of the TOA ceremony,” said Lt. Col. Kathy Fox, battalion commander of the 50th. “The very acronym ‘Transfer of Authority’ means that the job is not yet done. It is no mystery that the next many days, weeks and months will present a host of challenges, as well as opportunities.”

“We look forward to advancing the partnership with our Iraqi friends, we look forward to being a part of such a professional and innovative team of communicators, and we look forward to a New Dawn,” Fox said.

The 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion colors will be uncased once again when Soldiers of the National Guard unit return to their home state of South Carolina.

Page last updated Sun June 26th, 2011 at 00:00