Three 1st Armored Division units accept Iraq missions in ceremonies this week
May 16, 2008
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Three units of the recently deployed 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division officially assumed their missions in Iraq with transfer of authority ceremonies this week.
In the first of those ceremonies the brigade's 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry accepted its responsibilities at Combat Outpost Carver from the departing 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry May 11.
The 1-15th moved onto the land that is now COP Carver just three months ago. Located next to the Tigris River near Salman Pak, in an area that had been used by extremists as a safe haven, Soldiers of the 1-15th moved in and built the base from the ground up three months ago with the help of local Iraqi workers.
In their remarks at the event, Col. Wayne Grigsby Jr., commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division -- the 1-15th's parent unit -- and Lt. Col. Jack Marr, commander of the 1-15th, thanked Iraqi citizens and leaders for their support during their units' 15-month combat tours here and assured them that the 2-6th would continue to support them.
"I know that the 2-6 Infantry Regiment will continue to support the leaders of Iraq and take them to the next level," Grigsby said.
"The (2nd BCT) Soldiers are the best of the best," Marr said.
"They are ideally suited to lead in the Mada'in Qada."
Marr then cased the colors of the 1-15th and Lt. Col. Michael Shrout, commander of the 2-6th, uncased his brigade's standard.
Shrout thanked the Soldiers of the 1-15th for their hard work.
"The cooperation between the 1-15 Infantry Regiment and the people of the Mada'in Qada is remarkable," Shrout said. "On behalf of the 2-6 Infantry Regiment Soldiers, we will continue where they left off. We look forward to partnering with you to bring further prosperity to this area."
Shrout said he plans to do that by working with Iraqi leaders on various projects, and added that he is most excited about building a civil service corps that will develop a department of public works for their town.
Brig. Gen. Adnan Javad of the Iraqi Police attended the ceremony and welcomed the 1st Armored Division Soldiers.
"We would like to work in sync with the 2-6 Infantry Regiment," Javad said. "I am looking forward to the next year or so."
The day after the COP Carver ceremony, the 2nd BCT's 1st Battalion, 35th Armor accepted its mission at COP Cashe from the outgoing 3rd Battalion, 1st Cavalry.
Once again Grigsby thanked Iraqi leaders, as well as members of the Sons of Iraq, for helping the 3-1st succeed in the region. He said while the unit's Soldiers are leaving, the 1-35th will continue their legacy.
"The 'Iron Brigade' is more than ready to assist you and your needs. This is only the beginning," Grigsby said.
Lt. Col. John Kolasheski, commander of the 3-1st, said the ceremony was not just a welcoming for a new command, but a celebration of what the Iraqi people have accomplished over the past 15 months.
"Together, we have put the wheels in motion," said Kolasheski. "Seize this opportunity you have been given and move forward, not backwards."
Kolasheski then cased his unit's colors and Lt. Col. Rich Morales, commander of the 1-35th, unfurled the banner of the 1-35th.
In his remarks Morales said it was time for the Soldiers of the 3-1st to return to their families, and promised to honor their efforts here through continued cooperation in their area.
"Today we begin a new chapter in a very proud book," Morales said. "My Soldiers are committed to helping. Together we will move forward."
Kolasheski said he believes the 1-35th will do a wonderful job over the next 15 months.
"These Soldiers are well trained and well led," he said.
"They have a good understanding of their environment and what is up ahead. They are the perfect unit for the job."
Sheikh Case, a local tribal leader, attended the ceremony said he looks forward to working with the 1-35th in the coming months.
"Anything these guys need, me and my people will be there," Case said. "I know they are here to help."
In the third transfer of authority ceremony for Soldiers of the 2nd BCT, the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery officially accepted its mission in the Narhwan are from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery. The transfer took place at COP Salie May 13.
Once again Grigsby thanked the Iraqi people for their support of the 1-10th over the course of the battalion's deployment. He congratulated residents for improvements they have made in the Narhwan area and reassured them good things would not stop once the 1-10th leaves.
"We believe these improvements are only the beginning," the colonel said. "The Sons of Iraq and the 'Iron Brigade' (the 2nd BCT) are here to assist you in taking this to the next level."
Lt. Col. Mark Sullivan, the 1-10th commander, echoed Grigsby's comments, congratulating the people of Narhwan for taking control of their city.
"Together we created a situation where hope and progress has been restored," said Sullivan. "As (Lt. Col. Mike Mammay, commander of the 4-27th) and his Soldiers take over our duties, I ask for your continued cooperation in maintaining a secure environment where progress can continue." Mammay took the podium following the casing of the 1-10th colors and the uncasing of the 4-27th's.
"I don't see this transition as a change, but as a contribution," he said. "They (the 1-10th) have built the foundation that we will continue to build on."
The 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division is a U.S. Army Europe unit based in Baumholder, Germany.
(This article was compiled from three news releases authored by Spc. Justin Snyder)