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New commands take over in Iraq

Army News Service

Release Date: 5/18/2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, May 18, 2004) -- Combined Joint Task Force-7 deactivated May 15 in a ceremony at Camp Victory, Iraq, followed by the activation of two new commands: Multi-National Force Iraq and Multi-National Corps Iraq.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez will remain the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq as the commander of MNFI, while Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz will take the lead role in improving combat tactics as the commander of MNCI, officials said.

The deactivation of CJTF-7 comes just 11 months after its creation June 14. . Sanchez activated CJTF-7 then and took over as commander. In the past 11 months, CJTF-7 conducted offensive operations to neutralize and secure the area for the establishment of government for the Coalition Provisional Authority. CJTF-7 was also responsible for organizing, training and certifying the Iraqi Armed Forces. With more than 130,000 troops from more than 36 countries around the world, CJTF-7 has led an international effort in Iraq.

The mission of Multi-National Force Iraq will be to conduct strategic operations to defeat the remaining non-compliant forces and create a secure, creditable Iraq.

"The MNFI will focus on building a partnership at the national strategic level with the ministers of Defense and Interior and the armed forces and government of the country," Sanchez said.

The mission of Multi-Nation Corps Iraq will be to fight the tactical war against the anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi forces.

(Editor's note: Information provided by MNCI Public Affairs.)

"We will not forget that this land and its tremendous resources belong to Iraqi," Metz said, "to steal a phrase from the United States Marine Corps, '"we will be the best friend to those who want a free and prosperous Iraq, and the worst enemy to those who oppose freedom and prosperity for the Iraqi people."

The ceremony was held at eh Al-Faw Palace in Camp Victory, Iraq, and attended by more than 300 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

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