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    Vigilant brigade concludes 15-month deployment

    Vigilant brigade concludes 15-month deployment

    Photo By Sgt. Daniel Blottenberger | Col. Mark Spindler (right), commander, 18th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Daniel Blottenberger 

    18th Military Police Brigade

    By Sgt. Daniel Blottenberger
    18th Military Police Brigade

    BAGHDAD – Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers gathered on Dec. 1 at the 18th Military Police Brigade Headquarters on Camp Liberty to witness the transferring of authority of the Baghdad Police Transition Team mission to the 8th Military Police Brigade.

    The Headquarters and Headquarters Company 18th MP Bde., deployed 15-months earlier to the Iraq capital, to head up the PTT mission of partnering, training and mentoring the Baghdad Iraqi police forces.

    The 'Ever Vigilant Bde,' (18th MP Bde.) is being replaced and handing over the PTT mission to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Military Police Brigade deploying for the first time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    "We find ourselves leaving today and though we have accomplished a lot here there is still a whole lot to do," said Col. Mark Spindler, commander, 18th MP Bde., and native of St. Louis.

    The 18th MP Bde., accomplished a great deal with its IP counterparts and in support of its four battalions, which were strategically placed all throughout Iraq, with their mission focus being IP expansion, development and legitimacy.

    The brigade expanded the IP force by training more than 20,000 IP throughout Iraq, of which 13,000 were trained to protect the streets of Baghdad.

    After expanding the IP force the brigade also saw the development of two national IP training centers in Diyala and Baghdad.

    "A year ago the IP did not have a voice," said Spindler, referring to the stature the IP force was in when the brigade arrived to assume the PTT mission. "Now they have a voice in the collection of Iraqi security forces along with the national police and the Iraqi army, as it rounds out the Iraqi security forces charged to protect Iraq and its citizens."

    Spindler went on to say the IP will continue to succeed as long as they continue to hold their position and enforce rule of law in their respective communities.

    Spindler also credited the success of the IP to the dedication of the brigade's PTT teams, which he said, were unwavering in the support to their IP counterparts.

    "You have made a difference to the generations to come," said Spindler. "They will remember a time when American Soldiers stood on this soil."

    Spindler was not afraid to talk of the successes his brigade had accomplished while deployed would be in vain if he did not mention the work that still must be accomplished, as he handed the reigns over to the 8th MP Bde.

    "The good news is we are handing off all these initiatives and programs to the 8th MP Bde.," said Spindler, referring to the Watchdog brigade deployed from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

    "The Watchdogs are ready to step in and continue the pursuit of a safer Iraq, with the same momentum and tenacity you have seen with the Ever Vigilant Brigade," said Col. Byron Freeman, commander, 8th MP Bde., speaking to the crowd of about a hundred onlookers during the ceremony.

    The Ever Vigilant Brigade's success did not come without a cost, however, as the brigade lost 15 of its own during the deployment.

    "This has been a difficult mission and a difficult task," said Spindler. "We lost 15 of our warriors along the way, who fell for their buddies to their right and left. We will remember them and we will honor them as we continue to be inspired by their sacrifices."

    The Ever Vigilant, 18th MP Bde., will return home to Mannheim in the upcoming weeks as it concludes its third deployment in five years.

    As this will close another chapter in the long and distinguished history of the 18th, it will now begin a new chapter in the books of its history as it returns to Germany to reset its forces and prepare for the next mission set by its higher headquarters.



    Date Taken: 12.02.2008
    Date Posted: 12.02.2008 12:25
    Story ID: 27092
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

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