New Commander takes over 479th Engineer Battalion in Iraq
June 7, 2008
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - The 479th Engineer Battalion, from Watertown, N.Y., received a new commander during a change of command ceremony here June 5.
Major Jason J. Wallace, of Oswego, N.Y., replaces Lt. Col. Aaron T. Walter, of Denver, Colo., and will lead the battalion through its final weeks in Iraq and upcoming transition back home.
"We're not done here. The most important mission is ahead of us," Wallace said. "Our job now is to turn over our mission to the 54th Engineer Battalion ... and to make sure they are set up for success. (It) will be our most challenging and our biggest success."
Though their most important mission is still to come, the 479th Engineer Battalion has completed many vital duties throughout its tour in Iraq. Indicators, such as declining attack levels and casualty counts, clearly illustrate this fact, said Col. Peter A. Deluca, 20th Engineer Brigade commander.
"I believe the history books will say that you and the Soldiers of this rotation turned the tide of this war. Bringing hope and the dawn of a new day to ... people who yearn for peace and prosperity," said Walter, 479th Engineer Battalion outgoing commander. "Don't ever forget the vital contributions you have made on this battlefield."
Wallace has been with this battalion almost his entire career, holding positions ranging from platoon leader to battalion executive officer and now battalion commander. "Major Wallace has been a part of this family for 13 years. He is a mainstay of this battalion and clearly a pillar of its strength," Deluca said.
"It has been a privilege to work for such an outstanding organization," Wallace said. "I can honestly say I love this battalion and I love my Soldiers