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I Marine Expeditionary Force transfers authority of Multi-National Force-West to II Marine Expeditionary Force

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Lieutenant Gen. John F. Sattler, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force, transferred authority of Multi-National Force-West to Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Johnson, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), during a ceremony here today.
  "I've never been more optimistic in my almost two years of association with this area," said Sattler.  "The energy, the enthusiasm of the people is catapulting this movement forward.  The Iraqi security forces are capable, well led and confident and that confidence flows over to the Iraqi people." 
  As the incoming commander, Johnson expressed his view of the future of Iraq. "We are going to see a great increase in the Iraqi Security Forces, they are becoming very effective.  We are going to see the emergence of the Iraqi government.  Their constitution is being written, elections are being held and political decisions are being made in a democratic fashion.  We are going to see their economy pick up.  We are going to see opportunities for jobs and for industry.  And we are also going to see the emergence of truth.  For years, this country has not known truth and we will be seeing more of that."
  More than 41,000 Marines, soldiers, Sailors and airmen of I MEF have been deployed in western Iraq since early August 2004.  While here, they conducted campaigns against terrorists and criminals in Najaf, northern Babil, Karbala and Al Anbar provinces in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
  Operations conducted by I MEF ultimately led to Iraqi citizens being able to participate in the first free election in more than 35 years.

Note to media:  The email address for Multi-National Force-West Public Affairs is now CEPAOWO@cemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil

Release #050327i

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