OIF Update, June 9, 2009: Hand-Off Marks 4th US Outpost Closure in Mosul
Dispatches from the Front:
Mosul, Iraq, June 9, 2009 -- Combat outposts located throughout Mosul are closing as the deadline nears for U.S. combat troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities as part of their ongoing commitment to the Security Agreement between the two nations.
Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division handed command of Combat Outpost Power, in east Mosul, over to 3rd Battalion, 12th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division in a Transfer of Authority ceremony, June 7.
“There was a great turn-out by all levels of command on both the Iraqi side and the U.S. side,” said Capt. Gene Palka, the commander of Btry. A. “This is a great day; [the transfer] is a good thing that’s happened.”
Intended for troops to embed with the Iraqi Security Forces stationed throughout the city, the COPs were often only big enough to inhabit two platoon-sized elements. Soldiers worked with their Iraqi counterparts, conducting patrols and getting to know the outpost’s surrounding community in order to gain a clear understanding of their counterparts’ capabilities.
The ceremony marked the fourth COP closure in Ninewah province and another step by Task Force “Greywolf” – 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division - towards fulfilling the terms of a security agreement set between the United States and Iraq requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq’s cities by June 30.
(From a Multi-National Force - Iraq news release.)
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