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Vanguard Bde transfers authority to 172nd Infantry Bde

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Friday, 26 December 2008

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20081226-02
Dec. 26, 2008

Vanguard Bde transfers authority to 172nd Infantry Bde

Multi-National Division – Center PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, transferred authority to the 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Kalsu Dec. 18.

The 4th BCT will return to Fort Stewart, Ga., after a 15-month deployment in the area of southern Iraq approximately the size of Switzerland.

“I am proud and honored to hand-off our established Iraqi partnership to a unit with such a strong reputation,” said Col. Thomas James, commander of the 4th BCT. “Throughout our interactions with your team during our transition, it is evident that we are passing our investment to a group of professional, patriotic and dedicated Soldiers that will take our established partnership and accomplishments to a higher level.”

James transferred the reins of authority to Col. Jeffrey Sinclair, commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, based in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

“We thank our brothers and sisters in the Vanguard Brigade who have served with honor and forged partnerships that allow us to succeed and continue the uninterrupted support to the citizens of Iraq,” said Sinclair.

The 4th BCT transferred an area of responsibility very different than the one they found when arriving in October 2007. At that time, Coalition forces were fighting a counterinsurgency battle aimed at stopping the flow of weapons and terrorists into Baghdad. As al-Qaeda in Iraq and militia influence in the area have diminished, efforts shifted to reconstruction and building the capacity of local government to serve the basic needs of citizens in the area.

James gave credit for his Soldiers’ success to the extraordinary efforts of both the Iraqi Security Forces and local Sons of Iraq programs. The 4th BCT Soldiers have increasingly worked with their Iraqi Security Force counterparts in missions to keep insurgents out and reduce the sectarian violence that once plagued the area.

“Most of us in the Blackhawk Brigade left only a short time ago when a stable and prosperous Iraq seemed like a long shot,” said Sinclair. “Now, we return to a nation full of brave leaders and Soldiers, new business opportunities and people who chose a path of opportunity as new global participants.”

“To my new Iraqi friends who serve in government positions or who live and work throughout the province, the Blackhawks are humbled by your warm welcome, and we absolutely look forward to serving with you on a sometimes bumpy road to a peaceful and prosperous Iraq,” said Sinclair.

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