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Task Force Wings takes to MND-N skies

Oct 13, 2009

By Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - Multi-National Division-North's combat aviation brigade transferred authority in a short ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, near Tikrit, Iraq, Oct. 10.

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, or Task Force Wings, assumed responsibility for aviation operations in MND-N, relieving 10th CAB, TF Falcon, from its year-long mission.

"Today marks the official transfer of authority between two great, battle-tested combat aviation units," said Maj. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commanding general, TF Lightning and MND-N. "Both units have great historic traditions, and we could not be more proud of each of them.

"We welcome the arrival of the 25th CAB, led by Col. Mike Lundy and Command Sgt. Maj. Jesus Ruiz. I challenge the 25th [CAB] to continue to build upon the solid foundation of the relationships that are already in place," Caslen continued.

TF Falcon successfully conducted full-spectrum operations including reconnaissance and security, target acquisition, MEDEVAC, air assault and air movement operations as it supported TF Lightning in its efforts to secure the Iraqi people and build the capacities of Iraq Security Forces throughout northern Iraq.

"As we assume [the] mission today from Task Force Falcon and become part of the Task Force Lightning team, we do so knowing that we have a tremendous responsibility to continue to help build on the remarkable accomplishments in MND-N," said Col. Michael D. Lundy, commander, TF Wings.

TF Wings served in MND-N during its most recent 15-month deployment; however, its commander underscored the importance of continuing the success TF Falcon achieved. The brigade last conducted aviation operations in the region nearly 23 months ago and there have been many changes in the region, including the implementation of the Security Agreement, June 30.

"Although there are many unknowns over the next 12 months, it is clear that our support to the Soldiers on the ground will continue to be paramount as the brigade combat teams and MND-N leadership further strengthen our partnership and trust with the Iraqi Security Forces, provincial governments and the Iraqi people," said Lundy.

After welcoming TF Wings and thanking 10th CAB, Caslen spoke of his confidence in the 25th CAB.

"If you live with the motto 'every single day is a day you can make a positive difference in the lives of the Iraqi people,' you'll be on the right path for success," Caslen said. "We all know that we can count on you to do your part to ensure Iraq and her citizens are secure, living within the Rule of Law, and where each one has a hope for the future and for themselves and their loved ones. Undoubtedly, you will succeed because of the great professional Soldiers in your organization - the best in the history of the United States military. Remain vigilant and be the professional fighting force that Iraq's security forces and the rest of the world's armies want to emulate. You have my complete trust."

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