News: 'Dragon' brigade returns final base to Iraqi government
Story by Spc. Shantelle Campbell
TUZ, Iraq – Since deploying to the Salah ad-Din province last fall, one of the largest and most important missions for Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kan., has been returning military bases, once occupied by coalition forces, to the Iraqi government.
During a signing ceremony, May 25, Lt. Col. Eric Moore, commander of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, signed over Forward Operating Base Bernstein to Samir Al-Hadad, the receivership secretariat for the Government of Iraq.
Samir said that the transfer of FOB Bernstein means a lot to Iraq and shows that the Iraqi security forces are very capable of to keeping stability within the Tuz region.
He also thanked U.S. military for all that it has done in helping to create a stronger and better Iraq.
"We thank you," he said.
"It's all been written in the history of Iraq," Samir added. "You all should be proud of yourselves for what you have done [here]."
Forward Operating Base Bernstein is the twelfth and final base for the 'Dragon' brigade to return to the GOI before they redeploy later this summer.
"I think it's a real milestone, not just for the 4th Brigade but for the Salah ad-Din province in general," said Capt. Mark Haseman, Laguna Niguel, Calif., native, the brigade engineer who oversaw the base transfer process.
"Having now turned over 12 bases to the Iraqi Security Forces is a good indicator that they're ready to secure the area and are ready to do this on their own," he concluded.