KIRKUK, Iraq (April 27, 2010) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. made a visit to Forward Operating Base Warrior, here, where he honored the Iron Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, for their hard work.

Upon arrival to FOB Warrior, Casey, was welcomed by Col. Larry Swift, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, command sergeant major of the unit.

Immediately afterwards, Daniels, introduced Casey to nine Iron Soldiers.

These Soldiers were nominated by their command for their outstanding performance.

Casey then held a ceremony, recognizing the Soldiers, by awarding them with his personal coin.

"It is outstanding what these Soldiers do on a day-to-day basis and I thank them for their service," Casey said, to the nine Soldiers and their leadership.

Along with the ceremony, Casey spoke to the Soldiers about the progress that has been made in Iraq these past few years and what is in store for the future.

We are well on track to accomplishing this mission and have made great progress in Iraq but, there is still work to be done, said Casey.

The work Casey was referring to is the drawdown of troops that is scheduled to occur by August.

He continued with some words of encouragement for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Soldiers and families.

As the drawdown of forces begins families and Soldiers should not focus on the fact some Soldiers will be staying in Iraq -- they should focus on the positive side -- some Soldiers are coming home early, he said.

In his final words to the Iron Soldiers he spoke of the support the people in the U.S. have for the Soldiers in Iraq and referred to it as being "sky high."

After his time with the Iron Soldiers, Casey, had lunch and a brief meeting with Task Force Marne Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo; Task Force Marne Deputy Commanding General-Maneuver Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue, II; Swift, Daniels and the battalion commanders and command sergeants major of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

His visit to the Kirkuk area concluded with a tour of the Ninewa checkpoint to see the progression of the combined checkpoints in the area.