"Long Knife" Soldiers complete their New Dawn mission in Iraq
September 8, 2011
Long Knife Soldiers officially assumed authority of the mission in Ninewa, Dahuk and Irbil provinces, Oct. 18, 2010, from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Div. The provinces, which include the major population centers of Tal' Afar and Mosul, are home to more than four million people and cover an area similar in size to West Virginia.
The Long Knife Brigade deployed to Ninewa previously during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2007.
"As you leave Ninewa, there are two things which stand out, and I think are indicative of your tour here in Ninewa and indicative of the unit in general. They are what you accomplished and how you did it," said Maj. Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Division -- North and 4th Inf. Div.
As part of their advise, train and assist mission, Long Knife Soldiers trained Iraqi Security Forces and helped them modernize their light infantry tactics at the all-inclusive Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center.
They also provided basic and specialized training to the 3rd Federal Police Division and the 102nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Iraqi Army Div, which recently formed and began training with M198, 105mm towed howitzers.
In addition to the specialized training 4th AAB Soldiers provided, they also conducted training for Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Security Forces at combined security areas, which helped prevent conflict in the province's disputed internal boundaries.
"As we depart, if I had to sum up how we feel as an organization in a single word, it would be confident," said Col. Brian Winski, commander of 4th AAB, 1st Cav. Div.
"We leave confident that the Iraqi Army forces we trained with now have a foundation of traditional military capabilities which they will continue to build upon as they defend against and defeat external threats," added Winski, a native of Milwaukee.
Perkins added that the heritage 4th AAB, 1st Cav. Div., leaves behind is well documented and noticed. "(Colonel Winski,) as you and the sergeant major leave here today and head back to Fort Hood, know that you and your Soldiers have left a large legacy here, dramatically improved security here in Ninewa, and conversely throughout the rest of Iraq as it is linked in."
Now that the Long Knife troopers have completed their mission in northern Iraq, "Highlander" Soldiers of the 4th AAB, 1st Armored Div., have the responsibility of transferring COS Marez to Iraqi Security Forces as part of the drawdown of the U.S. presence in Iraq.