The first brigade of Soldiers to deploy exclusively in support of Operation New Dawn has arrived in southern Iraq.
The lead elements of 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Hood, Texas, recently arrived in Iraq and are preparing for their new mission. The regiment previously deployed three times during Operation Iraqi Freedom - serving successfully in tough areas including Fallujah, Tall Afar, Ramadi and Baghdad. This new deployment is the first of its kind under Operation New Dawn.
The 3rd ACR, known as the "Brave Rifles," is a combat-capable brigade-sized unit with a distinguished history that will continue the mission of advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in five of the nine southern provinces. They are replacing 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, one of the first heavy brigade combat teams configured for an advise and assist role. The 3rd Brigade deployed from Fort Benning, Ga., a year ago under Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Brave Rifles will operate under the 1st Infantry Division headquarters as part of United States Division-South. The unit will advise and assist Iraqi security units of the Army, Federal Police, border guards, and also the U.S. Department of State-led teams located in each southern province.
Operation New Dawn represents a change in the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq from combat missions conducted by U.S. forces, to stability operations conducted by Iraqi Security Forces with U.S. advice and assistance.
The change in mission also reflects a continuing commitment of military forces that began over a year ago to help advance the emerging stability of Iraq.
Advise and assist operations are not new to United States Division-South units operating in southern Iraq. Neither are the operations to provide security throughout the south new to the Iraqi forces.
"We are able to reduce the number of U.S. forces and bases in southern Iraq because the Iraqis have demonstrated their ability to provide for their country's security," said Maj. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and U.S. Division-South.
"Iraqi Security Forces have been and will continue to be the lead provider of security today and into the future," Brooks added. "I am fully confident in the abilities of Iraq's security forces to secure Iraq's people."
The 3rd ACR, as an advise and assist brigade, will begin duties in five provinces by the end of September.