By Cpl. Chris T. Mann
Regimental Combat Team 1
FALLUJAH, Iraq – Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter visited Marines and other service members operating in Fallujah, Iraq, during the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
Winter met with the Marines and Sailors of 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, at Camp Baharia to take part in holiday festivities and to praise progress they and other service members are making throughout Iraq, Nov. 27.
During a brief town hall meeting, Winter spoke about the future of the War on Terror and about several changes that are currently taking place in Iraq as part of the transfer of security.
"We are currently in a transition period, and we need to make sure we hand over security to the Iraqis in a proper manner," said Winter.
Earlier in the day, Winter and Lt. Col. Chris Hastings, commanding officer, 1st Bn., 4th Marines, visited Entry Control Point 1A in Fallujah to witness progress Iraqi security forces have made.
Iraqi police now handle security at the ECP, replacing Marines with the battalion. The ECP regulates civilian and military traffic into the city.
"We looked at operations taking place at the ECP because of the shift in the way they are run," said Hastings. "The past two weeks have been extremely successful with the way it has been ran, and we suspect that they will continue to prevent violence from occurring."
Winter also took the opportunity to serve troops a Thanksgiving meal at the camps dining facility.
"I appreciate your hard work and efforts," Winter said to a group of Marines at the dining facility. "I hope you have a great Thanksgiving; you deserve the dinner that we are serving you, and I hope this shows our appreciation for you."
Several Marines with the battalion waited in line to speak with Winter and expressed their gratitude for the visit.
Winter urged the Marines to continue making progress in Fallujah, and expressed his thanks for their selfless efforts.