News: Dagger Brigade replaces Strike Brigade during Transfer of Authority ceremony
Story by Sgt. Dustin Roberts
By Spc. Dustin Roberts
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
BAGHDAD – The 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Dagger," 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, replaced the 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Strike," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), in a transfer of authority ceremony on Nov. 20 at the Camp Liberty Field House.
The Strike Brigade deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in October 2007; following the ceremony, the brigade's Soldiers left to their home station of Fort Campbell, Ky.
"It has truly been an honor for the Strike Brigade to serve in Multi-National Division – Baghdad and the 4th Infantry Division," said Col. Bill Hickman, commander of the Strike Brigade. "It has been an honor to be able to serve in Baghdad with the great Soldiers, who will always meet our nation's needs and our nation's mission."
The Soldiers of the Strike Brigade worked in concert with Iraqi security forces and government officials in northwest Baghdad and helped reduce violence by denying al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists and other extremists' safe havens.
"I would say the future is bright for northwest Baghdad, and I have never seen a brigade transition go better," Hickman said. "I am confident that the Dagger Brigade will continue to move forward with great ideas to take northwest Baghdad to new heights."
The Soldiers of the Dagger Brigade trained in Fort Riley, Kan.; the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.; and Camp Buehring, Kuwait, to prepare for its scheduled 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"We will take the fight to the enemy," said Col. Joseph Martin, commander, 2nd BCT, 1st Inf. Div. "We will support the government of Iraq and encourage freedom every day."
Martin said he and the Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Battle, the brigade's senior enlisted leader, have ensured the Dagger Brigade is well-trained, ready for the mission ahead and have looked forward to the ceremony for months.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Battle and I are honored to join the Strike Brigade today for another page in the storied history of these two great organizations as we recognize the transfer of authority between us in northwest Baghdad," he said. "As the Strike Brigade did, we will never back down; we will preserve the Iraqi democracy, and we will care for and secure its citizens."