By Pfc. Bailey A. Kramer, 1BCT, 1CD PAOJune 20, 2009
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Soldiers from the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division transferred responsibilities of Joint Security Station Adhamiyah and JSS al-Shaab to the Government of Iraq, May 28.
"These were the first two transfers out of eight we are going to do," said Maj. Geoffrey Norman, executive officer for the "Ironhorse" brigade, a Boulder, Colo. native.
Two years ago, when the security situation was unstable, Coalition forces created facilities, known as a JSS's, that enabled Coalition forces and Iraqi Security Forces to establish a presence in Baghdad neighborhoods to provide proper security.
JSS's allowed troops to go into surrounding cities and attempted to stop the flow of weapons, foreign fighters, and improvised explosive devices. As a result, the level of violence decreased.
Now that the ISF has become more stable and able to perform their mission without the U.S. forces' help, it is time to hand over the responsibility of the JSS's back to the GoI, said Norman.
To help enable the Iraqi forces to continue providing security without the presence of U.S. troops, Norman said they were able to leave the JSS's with fully functional services.
This wasn't an entirely easy project. Working up to the point where they could finally transfer responsibility was a bit of an obstacle, said the "Ironhorse" brigade engineer, Capt. Charles Pinto, from Orange, Texas.
This new process included help from the Receivership Cell; a recently created group group that works for the Prime Minister of Iraq, who searched for the original land owners of the security station areas.
Multi-National Division-Baghdad, Multi-National Corp-Iraq, and Multi-National Forces-Iraq were all involved in creating a new, more effective way for "Ironhorse" to successfully transfer all responsibility back to the GoI, said Norman.
This is the first time that the Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq served as the intermediary to receive the base from U.S. troops. The bases were then transferred over to the Iraqi Forces for continual use, stated Pinto.
The Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq sent a representative to take possession of the property for the Iraqi people.
"This was a huge success," Norman added. "It allows the Coalition forces to move to new locations and allows the Iraqi Security Forces to stay in functional facilities."
The rest of the JSSs will be transferred no later than June 30.