CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq-Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, held a transfer of authority ceremony with members of the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, outside their battalion headquarters, here, Oct. 12.

The Black Dragons assumed the mission of supporting the Provincial Reconstruction Team and advising, training and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in support of Operation New Dawn.

"Today marks the official end of a terrific deployment for the Battlekings and the start of what I am sure will be a great deployment for our fellow 'Redlegs' from 5th Bn., 82nd FA," said Lt. Col. Thomas Williams, commander, 1st Bn., 9th FA. "We now pass this mission off to the great Black Dragon battalion led by Lt. Col. Rob Magee and Command Sgt. Maj. Calvin Coler."

The Black Dragons have been preparing for this deployment for almost 15 months; taking part in the brigade's field training exercises and completing a training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, at Fort Polk, La.

"Our partnership began six months ago and the Battleking's devotion to duty and sponsorship has resulted in a text book transfer of authority," said Lt. Col. Robert Magee, commander, 5th Bn., 82nd FA. "Thank you Battlekings, and we wish you the best as you reunite with your families and reintegrate back at Fort Stewart."