News: Stryker squadron arrives in support of Black Jack Brigade in Baghdad
Story by Spc. Alexis Harrison
by Spc. Alexis Harrison
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq – For many of the Soldiers in the "Saber" Squadron, this isn't their first tour in Iraq. Many remember the days they spent in Mosul and Tel Afar under much harsher conditions than what they found inside the walls of Forward Operating Bases Prosperity and Union III where the squadron will be headquartered.
Now they have begun another rotation into Iraq. The 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment has assumed responsibility from the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, currently attached to the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, of the Karkh District area in Baghdad's center, where heavy fighting against anti-Iraqi forces took place earlier this year.
Now themselves attached to the Black Jack Brigade, the Saber Squadron look to the achievements made by their predecessors to gain valuable knowledge and insight into how to conduct operations in the now peaceful area.
Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Morris, the squadron's top non-commissioned officer, said that success in transitioning into a lead role in the day-to-day operations in Karkh can be made by leaders at all levels.
"We have to ensure that Soldiers get acclimated and accustomed to their area of operations by going on patrols with the current unit, whose positive attitude has been instrumental in helping all Soldiers – squadron level down to individual," Morris said. "We could not have asked for a better unit to work with."
Humanitarian aid, reconstruction and sustaining security are all vital parts to the success of 4-2's mission in central Baghdad, Morris said.
Along with keeping the people of Karkh safe and improving their lives one day at a time, the troops are also concerned with keeping each other focused as they approach this new mission.
"Right now, we're still upgrading equipment, doing reconnaissance and working with 1-14," said Maj. Matt Mock, 4-2's executive officer. He said that all this will lead up to the Saber Squadron taking over the mission from the cavalry troops from Fort Lewis, Wash.
Spc. Matt Wellington said he is happy that the long trip is finally over and he and his friends can get to work.
"It's like the end of anticipation," said the Medford, Ore., native. "It's a big relief to get here and settle in." Wellington noted that the amenities found on the base were much like the ones he was used to back in Vilsek, Germany.
Morris added that families back in Vilsek and in the United States should be proud of the mission taken on by their Soldiers. He said that the troops from the Saber Squadron are helping to provide a more stable and secure environment for the people of Iraq.
After receiving the Presidential Unit Citation for actions during their last rotation through Iraq, the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment was reassigned to Fort Polk, La., then again to Ft. Lewis, Wash., where they were designated as the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (Light) before finally finding their home in Vilsek, Germany as the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment.