KIRKUK, Iraq -- A unit was formed seven years ago. This unit stands firm protecting the city of Kirkuk and are the foundation of security throughout the city, said Lt. Col. Daniel Cormier a Nashua, N.H., native and commander for 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 'Battle Boars' 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Stewart, Ga.
He said these words at the seventh anniversary celebration, in honor of the Kirkuk Emergency Services Unit brigade of the Iraqi police, also known as the 'Lions' at their headquarters in Kirkuk, Iraq, May 22.
The ceremony was hosted by Brig. Gen. Khattab Omer Aref, deputy provincial police chief of Kirkuk for the affairs of the ESU Bde., with Major Gen. Jamal Tahir, provincial police chief of Kirkuk, Lt. Col. Cormier and other dignitaries of Kirkuk attending.
To begin the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Khattab, founder of the ESU, spoke to his partners and brothers about how thankful he was for the support.
"I have been here, leading the ESU since the beginning, all I have seen is progress, it is because of the support we have received from the Kirkuk Iraqi Police and U.S. forces, -- I thank you," he said.
"We have worked side-by-side, since 2003, Kirkuk is much safer because of our partnership, and we will continue to stand tall until we defeat any terrorists," he said.
Cormier spoke of how impressed he was with the leadership, bravery, professionalism and capability of the Kirkuk ESU.
"We have had the pleasure of working closely with the ESU for the last few months, and I see they are a vital unit; manned by heroes and led by a lion working together for a new Iraq," he said.
Following the speeches, policemen of the ESU marched around the field to the cadence of the IP band, saluting the dignitaries.
After this awards were handed out by the dignitaries to people of Kirkuk who played a vital role in the ESU and officers of the ESU.
"It was a wonderful ceremony," said Cormier, to Brig. Gen. Khattab at the end. "I am honored to call you my brother."
This work, Kirkuk Emergency Services Unit celebrates 7th anniversary, by SPC Jessica Luhrs-Stabile, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.