News: Signal Brigades conduct transfer of authority
Story by Spc. Karen Sampson
BAGHDAD - The 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, also known as Task Force Palmetto, of the 160th Signal Brigade, transferred authority to the 50th Signal Brigade (Expeditionary), also known as Task Force Twin Lions, in a ceremony at Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory June 20.
As the last reserve signal unit to enter Iraq, Task Force Palmetto, led by Lt. Col. Richard A. Wholey, Jr., a native of Attelboro, Mass., and Command Sgt. Maj. Jewell D. McCullough, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., maintained a forward-stationed, theater signal battalion which operated, maintained and protected the Army theater operational base communications systems in support of Cental Command forces.
With a successful completion of a mission, the flag bearing the unit colors is ceremoniously encased in a sleeve.
“It seems only yesterday we assumed responsibility,” said Wholey, “I am humbled and give gratitude to our soldiers for the plethora of phenomenal accomplishments within the past months. It is an honor to witness the experience, dedication and true professionalism my team has brought to this mission.”
The 151st ESB flag will remain encased until the battalion returns to its home station in Greenville, S.C. In its place the 50th SB, Task Force Twin Lions’ flag unfurls, bringing along a new command team, Lt. Col. Kathy Fox and Command Sgt. Maj. Shannon Cromartie.
“It is no mystery that the months to come will present a host of challenges, as well as opportunities, as the mission we face is full of complexity,” said Fox. “To achieve our objective in support of Operation New Dawn, we look forward to advancing our partnership with our Iraqi friends. We look forward to being part of such a professional team of communicators as we look forward to a new dawn.”
Col. Maria B. Barrett, the commander of the 160th Signal Brigade, was in attendance as guest speaker.
“We commend the efforts of the 151st ESB to provide new opportunity to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Barrett. “We stand ready to support the 50th SB as they carry on this support. Supporting the standard of the [United States Forces – Iraq] mission and decommissioning the strategic network in Iraq.”