News: Ironhorse returns JSS Sadr City to Iraqi Army
Story by Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti
BAGHDAD — A common sense of triumph and accomplishment drifted in the air during the transfer ceremony in Sadr City in northeast Baghdad June 20.
The 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division successfully returned Joint Security Station Sadr City to the 1st Battalion, 44th Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division to better facilitate the Iraqi security forces taking over security, in accordance with the security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq.
"This is the most important, most iconic of all our JSSs. Sadr City is viewed as sacred ground for both us and the Iraqis," stated Boulder, Colo., native Maj. Geoffrey Norman, the executive officer for the "Ironhorse" Brigade.
JSS Sadr City was established in 2007 and has housed four U.S. Army units through the years. In this period, the U.S. had approximately 130 service members killed or wounded and the ISF endured approximately 190 in this area. "This JSS has a very significant meaning...we share a bond of sacrifice," Norman reverently shared.
Now entering a new phase, the 1st Bn., 44th Bde., 11th IA Div. assumes responsibility of securing the area surrounding JSS Sadr City and providing a safe, secure and stable community for the people of Iraq.
"They will make the most out of the facility, as we did. This installation remains very important to ISF. It serves as a visible reminder to the local population that there is a strong security force presence," said Norman.
The "Lancers" worked with their counterparts to determine the equipment the IA needed left at the installation in order to function efficiently. "We have to set the Iraqis up for success when we transfer the facilities. We take care of them so they can be triumphant," stated Poolesville, Md., native Maj. Sean Davis, logistical officer for the "Ironhorse" Brigade.
Coalition forces' combat troops withdrawing from the cities, facilitates the first phase of ISF taking the lead. The plan, according to Iraq's Ministry of the Interior, is for IA to assume full responsibility of security as the initial phase for the people of Iraq to regain control of their country.
The IA unit will have easy access to their counterparts who have moved to JSS War Eagle or JSS Ur for assistance as needed. "The locations that the various companies have moved to are not disruptive to daily life but close enough to provide support to their IA counterparts when requested," stated Norman.
JSS Sadr City is one of the eight installations the "Ironhorse" Brigade has turned over to the Government of Iraq. It is the largest in size to date that they have returned.