News: 3-8 CAV redeploys from Adder
Story by Pvt. Andrew Slovensky
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, waited patiently in a passenger terminal after securing their belongings on a pallet to be loaded on a C-130 aircraft.
The “Warhorse” Battalion redeployed from Contingency Operating Base Adder Oct. 26 as part of the U.S. forces commitment to departing Iraq by the end of the year.
The battalion deployed to Contingency Operating Station Garry Owen in February to support Operation New Dawn. Before coming to COB Adder on the way to redeploy, the battalion oversaw the turn over of Garry Owen and military equipment to the 10th Iraqi Army Division in early October.
Redeploying soldiers are transporting equipment and troops out of Iraq at an accelerated pace to meet the requirements of the Status of Forces Agreement. Warhorse made COB Adder the final stop in Iraq before flying by C-130 into Kuwait. From there, soldiers will finish their redeployment and return to their homes and families in the U.S.
“It’s nice to have closure to this mission, and to see the Iraqis with the ability to assume that role,” said 1st Sgt. Donald Locke, Headquarters Company first sergeant.
Soldiers at Garry Owen provided training and support to Iraqi security forces who are now running the show in Iraq’s Maysan province, said Locke.
“The [Iraqi] police have grown a lot larger,” said Sgt. Peter Streb, finishing his fourth deployment. “It’s steadily moving in the right direction.”
Service members at Garry Owen filled a variety of roles as responsibility of Maysan province was transferred to the 10th IA Division soldiers worked directly with Iraqi counterparts in providing security and support for reconstruction projects for schools, government buildings, and even a police department, said Streb.
“I got to see and experience a lot of different things,” said Spc. Christopher Rigas, medic with the 3rd BCT. “I definitely had a wide range of experiences, plenty of stories to tell grandchildren about.”
“There is a lot that can happen during a deployment that can bring you closer to your family, closer to your religion,” said Rigas. “It puts everything into perspective.”
The Warhorse Battalion is one of many groups of soldiers departing Iraq in compliance with the SOFA. Units like the Warhorse Battalion will take part in an important historic milestone as U.S. troops leave in record numbers to meet withdrawal demands before the year’s end.