By Staff Sgt. Tim Meyer
3rd Infantry Brigade Public Affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Tikrit, Iraq – The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), transferred the mission of assisting Iraqis in Salah ad Din province with security, governance, economics and essential services to the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in a transfer of authority ceremony.
"The leaders and the people of this province have spoken over the past 14 months and they say: 'This is our province, this is our home, and we are here to protect it and to build it,'" said Col. Scott McBride, commander 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault.)
McBride thanked Iraqi military, civilian and Sons of Iraq leaders for their cooperation in working towards peace and stability in the province during the Bastogne Brigade's 14-month deployment. "Leaders across this province -- leaders of courage -- stood up in the face of danger and extended a hand to the people of this province," he continued.
"The brave men of the Iraqi security forces, the Sons of Iraq and the brigade task force acted. Their blood, sweat and tears are forever in the soil of this ground, which is now sacred ground, and we must carry forward to make their sacrifices matter," he continued.
During their deployment the number of attacks in the province decreased by 70 percent, signifying an increase in security for Iraqis here. Fewer threats mean a safer province, resulting in increased economic activity due to improved freedom of movement.
During the ceremony Col. Scott McBride, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Wright, brigade command sergeant major, of the 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), cased the brigade and regimental colors, signifying that the 1st BCT's mission here was accomplished and passed to the 3rd IBCT.
Col. Walter Piatt, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Marrero, brigade command sergeant major, of the 3rd IBCT, 25th Infantry Division, uncased the brigade colors, signifying that the 3rd IBCT accepted the mission.
Piatt said that he would continue the tremendous success the 101st Airborne Division had in working with the Iraqis of Salah ad Din province.
"Your rendezvous with destiny is secure," he said, referring to the completion of the Bastogne Brigade's mission here.
"The Broncos have come to serve – I pledge my full cooperation on our journey towards peace. And most important – to the people of Iraq – Long live Iraq!" said Piatt.
The 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Ft. Campbell, Ky., was deployed to Iraq for 14 months. This was their third tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 3rd IBCT, 25th Infantry Division is based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The Bronco Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in 2004, and their first deployment to Iraq was in 2006.
This work, Broncos replace Screaming Eagles in Iraq, by SSG Tim Meyer, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.