BAGHDAD - Forward Operating Base Falcon was transferred from U.S. control to the government of Iraq during a ceremony on site, Oct. 10. The last scheduled transfer for 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, the ceremony marked another milestone in the increased independence of the Iraqi Security Forces.

"Over the past ten months we have worked hand-in-hand with our Iraqi brothers for the citizens of the Rasheed district," said Lt. Col. Kirk Dorr, the commander of 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st AAB, 3rd ID. "It has not been an easy journey to this point and undoubtedly we will see more challenges ahead, but together there is nothing we cannot accomplish."

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hansen, the commander of 1-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st AAB, 3rd ID, and Sameer Al Haddad, the Secretary of Receivership for the government of Iraq, signed the final documents which gave control of the base to the government of Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Dorr, staff Maj. Gen. Ameed Rukn Shakir Laftah Abdalretha Al-Assadi Akeed, the commander of 2nd Iraqi Federal Police Division, and Col. Kareen Auda Kadham Ashoor Almehna, the commander of 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi FP Div., were also present at the signing.

FOB Falcon is scheduled to be the last of nine bases 1st AAB has given full responsibility to the government of Iraq for. It is also the largest transfer on record throughout United States Division- Center. Where most bases are under official control of a company or battalion sized unit, FOB Falcon was under the control of an entire brigade.

This transfer is the result of almost a year of partnership between 5/7 Cav., and the 2nd Iraqi Federal Police Division. The U.S. regiment will remain on the base in a smaller compound in order to continue their partnership and training for the duration of the deployment.

"It was the joint work that has had a significant positive impact on the capabilities of our unit's training, logistics, and intelligence," said Shakir in a speech during the ceremony.