TESSAH NISSAN, Iraq (May 6, 2008) -- Leaders from U.S. Army Europe's 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery joined the colleagues they are replacing here to meet with the local head of the Sons of Iraq.

The 4-27th, based in Baumholder, Germany, is part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. The battalion recently deployed here to assume the duties of the departing 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, a 3rd Infantry Division unit from Fort Benning, Ga.

The commanders of the 1-10th and its A Battery met with Qussin Yassim, leader of the Tessah Nissan Sons of Iraq group May 1 to bid farewell and introduce the leadership of the 4-27th.

Lt. Col. Mark Sullivan, commander of the 1-10th, and Capt. Charles Cannon, commander of the battalion's Battery A, expressed their gratitude to Yassim for the relationship the American and Iraqi groups have formed and introduce the SoI leader to Lt. Col. Michael Mammay, commander of the 4-27th, and Capt. Matthew Hustead, commander of that battalion's Battery B.

Cannon said he planned the ceremony to give Yassim and the 4-27th leaders the opportunity to meet and carry on the working relationship that has been established with the SoI group.

Coalition officials said the Tessah Nissan SoI have played a key role in developing area infrastructure such as roads and water distribution facilities. They have also helped secure humanitarian aid missions and identified numerous illegal weapons caches and improvised explosive devices, said Capt. Josh Beard, the 1-10th's civil-military operations officer.

Sullivan thanked Yassim for his warm welcome of the 4-27th. "I hope you continue to treat them as you've treated us," he said.

Yassim expressed his gratitude for Cannon's assistance in the region and expressed his hopes for the future.

"I hope to continue the same relationship with Lt. Col. Mammay and Capt. Hustead, so that Tessah Nissan will stay secure," Yassim said. "We hope and pray we can continue to work together as well as we have."