By Maj. Chad Carroll, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. PAOJuly 23, 2008
COB ADDER, Iraq - Leadership and staff from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, "Long Knife" Brigade, met their counterparts from Romania's 151st Infantry Battalion, "Black Wolves" Jul 18.
Romania has deployed a battalion-sized element to Iraq since 2004. The 151st Inf. Bn. receives missions from the Long Knife Brigade but also must receive approval for missions from their higher command in Romania.
The leaders discussed their counterparts' capabilities and coordinated plans to work together in southern Iraq in the coming weeks.
Romanian Lt. Col. Dan Cislariu, 151st Inf. Bn. commander, provided an information brief on Romanian military structure and capabilities.
Col. Philip Battaglia, 4th BCT commander, addressed the Romanian leadership saying, "We are looking forward to working with you to continue progress here in Iraq."
"When you come over to my TOC (tactical operations center), I hope you feel as welcome as we feel today in your area," he added. As a token of good will and partnership, the commanders exchanged unit coins.
Command Sergeant Major Edwin Rodriguez, 4th BCT command sergeant major, also met with his Romanian counterpart, Command Sgt. Maj. Constantin Ionel to discuss various Soldier issues. "I think it was a great opportunity for us to meet with the "Black Wolf" Romanian Battalion. We learned that the soldier and leadership structure mirrors the U.S. Army," said Rodriguez. "Knowing their capabilities and their efforts also helps us see what they bring to the people of Iraq and their contributions to the future of Iraq."
Similar to non-Army U.S. forces, the Romanian forces deploy for 6-month tours. The 151st will be redeploying soon and another unit is scheduled to replace them.