By Pfc. Nathaniel Smith
4th BCT, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq -- The 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division officially took over for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in a transfer of authority ceremony, March 8.
Col. Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th BCT "Dragons," hailed his Soldiers' preparation for their mission.
"You have trained hard the past 18 months, standing up this great brigade," Gibbs said. "You are well-trained, well-led and combat ready.
"I ask you to never lose sight of your principle objectives: protect the peace-loving people of Iraq and destroy the thugs and criminals who terrorize this country."
Cpl. Ed Herring, a team leader from 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT, said Multi-National Division-Baghdad troops are fighting for a good cause.
"I'm a true believer that if you can help someone you really should go out of your way to do it," he said. "I believe the United States has the capability to do that, to help these people have a better life for themselves."
Part of that better life, Herring said, is the freedom of democracy and safety within their neighborhoods.
With that thought in mind, the Greeley, Colo., native said the unit has been preparing for everything.
"Anything they can throw at us, we want to be able to have it already in the back of our minds exactly how we're going to respond to those problems," he said.
The Dragons' commander had advice for his troops as they set out to provide that better life for the Iraqi citizens of Baghdad's Rashid security district.
"Fear nothing, trust your God-given instincts, know the capabilities of your men and your unit," he said, "and never ever underestimate our enemy or the depths to which he will stoop to achieve his objectives.
"I have total trust and confidence in each and every one of you, and know we will be victorious on the battlefield."
The Dragons have been in Iraq since mid-February. The unit activated in January 2006.