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Continuing partnerships: 1st Bn., 37th AR meet local Sons of Iraq

Dec 10, 2009

By Spc. Justin Naylor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq- For units preparing to depart Iraq, passing on hard-earned partnerships is important, and it's always easier to do on a full stomach.

The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, led introductions between local Sons of Iraq leaders and their replacements from the 1st Battalion, 37th Armored, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, during a meal at Joint Security Station McHenry in Kirkuk province, Iraq, Dec. 4.

"You have been our best partners over this last year," said Lt. Col. David Lesperance, the commander of 1/8 Cav. Regt., to the SoI leaders. "Everything we've been able to accomplish is really because of you."

The 1/8 Cav. Regt., has partnered closely with the SoI throughout their nearly year-long deployment in Iraq.

It is very sad to say goodbye to the SoI leaders gathered here today, Lt. Col. Lesperance explained. But it is hoped that the leaders here will continue to have a strong relationship with the 1-37th AR, he added.

The new unit is led by Lt. Col. Geoffery Catlett, the commander of 1-37 AR, who served in the Kirkuk area in 2007.

"I know from personal experiences all the risks you have taken, I appreciate your efforts with the security in the area and you can expect the same support from 1-1 AD," said Lt. Col. Catlett.

The 1-37th AR, is looking forward to working in partnership with the SoI and continuing the great work of Col. Ryan Gonsalves, the commander of 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., and Lt. Col. Lesperance, according to Lt. Col. Catlett.

"We always had a very good partnership with 2-1 Cav. Div., and I am really looking forward to the new unit," said Col. Yunis, a leader within the SoI. "We will continue to work together with them."

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