Deployed Forces: Color-casing marks end of Iraqi tour for 130th Eng. Bde.

| June 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Pfc. Jennifer Montagna
130th Engineer Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq — The 130th Engineer Brigade cased its colors in a ceremony, here, May 29.

The ceremony signified the end of the 130th Eng. Bde.’s tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 130th Eng. Bde. fell under the control of the 25th Infantry Division when it began its deployment at COS Marez in June 2009. The brigade completed service under the 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Ga.

During deployment, the 130th Eng. Bde. ensured mobility of travel through route clearance, embedded Soldiers with Iraqi security forces to create an essential partnership for training, and partnered with the government of Iraq for the reconstruction of the Ninewa province.

The brigade’s Ninewa Reconstruction Cell focused on long-term projects that positively affected the people of the Ninewa province. More than $24 million worth of projects focused on areas of clean water and electricity distribution.

“You all should be proud of the enduring, positive legacy you’ve left here in Iraq,” said Brig. Gen. Tom Vandal, Task Force Marne deputy commanding general–support, at the ceremony.

“You’ve helped to start restoring Mosul to the greatness that it once was,” Vandal added.

Key leaders in the Iraqi army also attended the ceremony to express their appreciation and gratitude to the 130th Eng. Bde.

“Thank you for giving us the chance to say goodbye to our friends, the 130th Eng. Bde,” said the 2nd Iraqi Army Division commander, while presenting Col. Fabian Mendoza, commander, 130th Eng. Bde., a plaque in gratitude and thanks.

“We will never forget the 130th and all they’ve done, and I’m sure every honorable citizen in the Ninewa province will not forget you and your efforts to bring the electricity and water to them,” the Iraqi commander added. 

“I hope you all return home safe, and then, next time you come to Iraq, it is as a civilian with your families to visit.”

Mendoza addressed his unit with humble words.

“I’m overwhelmed with pride for your accomplishments,” Mendoza said. “It’s amazing what you’ve done in a year. 

“Our pride lies in being a small aspect in this partnership with the Iraqi army brigades,” Mendoza said. “Our partnership with the Iraqi army field engineer regiments is something I respect and am so thankful to be a part of. Stay focused and Godspeed,” he said.

Following the ceremony, the 130th Soldiers and guests mingled and shared stories of the past year together while saying their goodbyes and reminiscing about their year spent in support of OIF.

Category: Deployed Forces, News

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