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Military

Task Force Arrowhead assumes mission from Bowie Team

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Tuesday, 02 December 2008

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20081202-08
Dec. 2, 2008

Task Force Arrowhead assumes mission from Bowie Team
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD – A transfer of authority ceremony marked the end of mission for the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the beginning for the 56th Brigade Dec. 1.

For more than 50 percent of the 56th Brigade Soldiers it marks their second deployment to Iraq. The 56th deployed to Iraq in 2005 and performed many of the same missions it now faces. They will conduct convoy security and force protection missions.

The convoy security mission is vital to the overall success of the Coalition. The primary function of the mission is to ensure the timely delivery of needed supplies. The Soldiers conducting these missions work out of Al Asad in the Al Anbar Province and Tallil in southern Iraq. These convoy operations cover up to 700 miles round trip and can be upwards of 50 miles in length.

Leaders face challenges during any mission, said Lt. Col. Christopher Link, 56th Brigade Operations Officer. A mission that arrays forces across 50 miles of roadway in a combat zone pushes even these tough Soldiers to test their limits. For two weeks leading up to Dec. 1st, the brigades have conducted operations together. This allows Soldiers to watch their counterparts conduct the mission so that they can observe and learn what it takes to be successful. After a week, the incoming and outgoing units trade places and allow the new Soldiers to conduct the missions with the outgoing Soldiers providing guidance and feedback as they observe.

The training received during post-mobilization and during the relief in place set the Texas Guardsmen up for success and enabled them to assume this critical mission with the highest levels of confidence, said Link.

“Every single widget we use, from a slice of bread at chow to the fuel that runs our generators is brought in by ground convoy and Texan Soldiers are the ones protecting it,” he said. “The convoys run from out west in Jordan all the way to Baghdad and south towards Kuwait, covering about two thirds of the country.”

The force protection mission is multifaceted. It includes gate guards responsible for checking vehicles, personnel and their belongings before accessing various bases.

“Our mission is more than just perimeter security; it is also controlling access to the Victory Base Compound and the relationships that our battalions have with the townships near our entry control points and towers,” said Col. Lee Henry, commander of the 56th Brigade.

The force protection mission also involves perimeter security which includes manning towers, and patrols in and outside the base. The mission taken by the brigade headquarters is the defense of Victory Base Complex. Its primary function is to secure and protect up to 70,000 service members and contractors that live and work on the Victory Base Complex in Baghdad. The 56th Brigade is ultimately responsible for manning guard towers, entry control points, and access to Victory Base.

The Texas Guardsmen will also be leading three active component battalions that will have the responsibility to secure specific portions of Victory Base as well as the continuing development of positive relationships with Iraqis who live around the base.

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FOR QUERIES, CONTACT MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION - BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT: MNDB_PAO_CIC@MND-B.ARMY.MIL OR BY PHONE AT: COMMERCIAL (703) 621-0781 OR IRAQNA 011-964-770-252-3225. FOR THIS PRESS RELEASE AND OTHERS, VISIT HTTP://WWW.BRAGG.ARMY.MIL/MNCI/DEFAULT.HTM

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