By Spc. Creighton Holub, 4th BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.June 22, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Romania officially recognized the end of its troop deployment to Iraq in a ceremony here June 4.
The President of Romania, Traian Basescu, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill, Multi-National Forces-Iraq commander Gen. Raymond Odierno, Multi-National Corps - Iraq commander, Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., and the Iraqi Army's chief of staff and the Iraqi Ground Forces commanders were among the distinguished attendees at the ceremony which was facilitated by the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Long Knives" and the 4th BCT, 1st Armored Division "Highlanders."
Following Romania's end of mission ceremony, the two U.S. brigade combat teams conducted a transfer of authority ceremony to officially recognize the end of the 4 BCT, 1st Cav Div.'s year-long deployment to Iraq. The Highlanders assumed the coalition forces' mission from the Long Knives in the tri-province area of Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Maysan.
"Romania has stood firm against terrorism across the world," Jacoby said.
The Romanian 26th Infantry Battalion "Red Scorpions" has been under the operational control of the Long Knife Brigade and will depart Iraq in early July. The Red Scorpion Battalion was the first Romanian battalion to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"All three Romanian units with whom we have worked have been extremely effective, professional organizations," Col. Philip Battaglia, the Long Knife Brigade commander, said following the ceremony. "The Romanians have been great partners in Iraq."
The two U.S. BCTs and the Romanian battalion thoroughly coordinated the enhanced security for the throngs of distinguished guests and media on hand to witness the ceremony.
The ceremony included the Romanian, U.S. and Iraqi national anthems, Romanian awards presentations to U.S. military leaders, U.S. military awards to Romanian leaders and gift presentations between the countries' representatives.