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Archive for the ‘MNF’ Category

MND-Baghdad Transfers Authority

Source: CentCom.

20 Dec. 2007
By Sgt. Jason Thompson
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
.

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Control of Multinational Division Baghdad changed hands during a ceremony here yesterday [December 19, 2007]. The 1st Cavalry Division will redeploy to Fort Hood, Texas, while 4th Infantry Division takes over operations in the Iraqi capital. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, presided over the ceremony. He said the battle in Iraq has changed significantly during the last year, and that the success could be directly linked to the 1st Cavalry Division’s efforts in and around Baghdad.

“Significant events are often a result of the right people being in the right place at the right time,” Odierno said. “In the case of Baghdad in 2006 and 2007, the right people were the magnificent men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad and their dedicated Iraqi security force partners.”

Odierno said the soldiers of the “First Team” should be proud of what they accomplished during their tenure in Baghdad. He said the soldiers had a direct, positive impact on the Iraqi people’s day-to-day lives, which is apparent by the increased activity in all the Baghdad markets, traffic on the streets, numerous soccer games played in all the local neighborhoods, and the smiles on the children’s faces.

“The biggest success was the complete, full partnership they formed with their counterparts in the Iraqi army, national police, station police, patrol police and local leaders,” Odierno continued. “Because of their shared concern, genuine care and daily engagement, they earned the trust and confidence of Baghdad’s people. In turn, it sparked a grassroots movement among the millions of residents and empowered them to feel in control of their own destiny.”

The 1st Cavalry Division commander then addressed the audience of Iraqi and coalition leaders, looking back on a year’s worth of successes and sacrifices by his MND-B forces. “Although the cost has been high, and the toll on the lives of our soldiers has been great, our cause was just and noble, and we have prevailed,” Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., said. “We have fought together, side by side, and have won every time. Our soldiers know it, and the enemy knows it. There is not a place in Baghdad where the enemy feels free or a place to call his home,” he said.

Fil then thanked the Iraqi army soldiers and said his team’s success came with a partnership between the Iraqi and coalition forces. “We have done this in partnership. Whatever progress we have made, whatever success we have secured, is a testimony to that partnership and the result of our combined strengths,” he said.

With the colors of his division cased and ready to accompany him home, Fil said his thoughts were focused on the efforts of his soldiers and on the continued success of the 4th Infantry Division. “As always, at the end of a challenging tour, we leave with mixed emotions. It is quite reassuring to know that we are handing the battle over to such a capable division, and that’s the ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ 4th Infantry Division, led by the supreme command team of Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia,” Fil said, referencing the division’s motto, “Steadfast and Loyal.”

“I’m leaving totally confident that you’ll be able to quickly build and expand upon the efforts and that the Ironhorse soldiers are ready for the tests that lie ahead,” he said.

With the 4th Infantry Division Ironhorse Band accompanying the ceremony, Fil passed on the mantle of Multinational Division Baghdad to Hammond, who uncased his colors and assumed command of the MND-B mission as the division colors changed position in the honor guard procession. “As we, the 4th Infantry Division, return to Baghdad for our third deployment, we truly feel we have two homes. One in Fort Hood, Texas, and our other is clearly here in Baghdad. We look forward to once again serving with our Iraqi brothers.

With obvious pride in the troops of his new command, Hammond closed by thanking the 1st Cavalry Division troops for their great efforts in providing a smooth transition with 4th Infantry Division and took a moment to recognize all the forces that make up Multinational Division Baghdad.

“To Major General Fil and the 1st Cavalry Division, magnificent job. Your ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ efforts have improved security across Baghdad, but more important, I see hope for the future. We must build on this and continue progress. We still face determined enemies who threaten peace and security. There is still much work ahead. Our job, alongside our Iraqi counterparts, is to provide stable security and set conditions for improving life in Baghdad. This we will do as a team,” Hammond said. “It is my honor to represent the men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad.”

Photo – Maj. Gen. Jeffery W. Hammond (left), incoming Multinational Division Baghdad commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, incoming MND-B command sergeant major, uncase the “Ironhorse” colors during the MND-B transfer-of-authority ceremony Dec. 19, 2007, at Camp Liberty, Iraq. Photo by Staff Sgt. Luis Orengo, USA.

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25 Aug 07
By Spc. Henry Selzer
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALAGUSH, Afghanistan – Just like the people of the U.S., the people of Afghanistan are very proud of their independence, which means Aug. 19 is a date marked by celebration.

When the people of Nuristan province were invited to celebrate the U.S. independence on the Fourth of July with Soldiers here, the idea of holding an Afghan Independence Day celebration for the citizens of Nuristan was brought up. “It seems that the bigger more eventful celebrations are in the larger cities,” said Navy Cmdr. Samuel Paparo, 43, of Philadelphia, commander of the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team. “Holding a celebration out here for the people who can’t make it to the big celebration is our way of celebrating with them and to help connect them to their government.”

Afghans living in Nuristan were invited to the celebration where they were given a chance to interact with the Soldiers of the FOB and enjoy a variety of the local food, which was prepared by Army cooks. Not only did holding the Afghan Independence Day celebration give Soldiers a chance to interact with the people of Nuristan, it showed Afghans that Soldiers care about them and are here to support them.

“To[o] often when we see each other it is about business, but today is all about you and your independence,” said Army Lt. Col. Steve Maranian, 40, of Natick, Mass., and commander of 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, during the Afghan Independence Day celebration.

The celebration highlighted a common history the people of Afghanistan share with the United States. “We use the 4th of July to celebrate our independence from the British, and we wanted to take today to get together and help you celebrate your independence from the British,” said Paparo.

Today the U.K. along with the U.S., Afghan National Security Forces and many other multinational partners all work together toward the common goal of making sure the Afghan people can freely celebrate many more Independence days. “We are very glad that you accepted our invitation to celebrate your independence and share a meal together and hopefully we can do it again soon,” said Maranian.

Photo – An interpreter with the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team helps a town elder with his food during the Afghan Independence Day celebration on forward operating base Kalagush Aug. 19. Photo by Spc. Henry Selzer.

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This is little bit of progress we never hear about, and it is one of my favorite holidays. That is why I chose it for today’s Linkfest. If you are not already a member, just click on the blue icon above to join. You can also post your best (or funniest) work here. Just think about joining the Linkfest. It is really worth your time, and it is free. Thank you.

These are posts I’ve trackbacked to: Pirate’s Cove, Webloggin, The Pink Flamingo, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Bullwinkle Blog, Wake Up America, Conservative Cat, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, The Pink Flamingo, Committees of Correspondence, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns and Big Dog’s Blog, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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