25th ID assumes command of southern Iraq

| September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux (center), commander, 25th ID, speaks to and fields questions from Iraqi media after the transfer of authority ceremony of U.S. Division-South from the 36th Inf. Div. to the 25th ID, at COB Basrah, Iraq, Sept. 7. (Spc. Breeanna J. DuBuke | U.S. Division-Center Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux (center), commander, 25th ID, speaks to and fields questions from Iraqi media after the transfer of authority ceremony of U.S. Division-South from the 36th Inf. Div. to the 25th ID, at COB Basrah, Iraq, Sept. 7. (Spc. Breeanna J. DuBuke | U.S. Division-Center Public Affairs)

Spc. Brittany H. Gardner & Spc. Breeanna J. DuBuke
U.S. Division-Center Public Affairs 

BAGHDAD — The 25th Infantry Division assumed responsibility for the southern region of Iraq from U.S. Division-South during a transfer of authority ceremony, Sept. 7, at Contingency Operating Base Basra, here.

The transfer of authority from the 36th Inf. Div. to the 25th ID marks the last event held by USD-S, which will now be considered part of USD-Center.

The transfer of authority gives 25th ID responsibility for nine additional provinces for the remainder of Operation New Dawn, or OND, which concludes at the end of the year. Previous to this ceremony, 25th ID had responsibility for two provinces.

Leading the last division to operate in Iraq as part of OND, Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commander, 25th ID, is optimistic about the future mission of the 25th ID and its Iraqi partners.

“Regardless of future demands, some that are known and some that are unknown, no one should question or challenge our resolve,” Champoux said. “Ultimately, I believe we have a shared common (goal) and resolute focus for a stable and secure Iraq — an Iraq whose people feel a sense of dignity and hope, an Iraq whose governmental institutions provide for its people and foster a sense of inclusion in its political process, and an Iraq with a strong, professional and capable security force that can protect the population and defend the nation.”

During his speech to an audience of military leaders, U.S. and Iraqi diplomats, local Iraqi religious leaders and deployed Soldiers, Champoux thanked the 36th Inf. Div. for its tireless commitment and professionalism and expressed his intent for the weeks ahead.

“As we press forward together, the U.S. mission will transition to one with an increasing focus on civilian-led efforts that continue our deep commitment to Iraq and to its people,” Champoux said.

The prosperity of the people of southern Iraq is in very capable hands, said Maj. Gen. Eddy Spurgin, commander, 36th Inf. Div.

“The U.S. forces’ mission in southern Iraq (has) not ended,” Spurgin said. “Finishing the mission will be Maj. Gen. Bernie Champoux and the great ‘Tropic Lightning Div.,’ a division (that is) well known and highly regarded both throughout the U.S. and the country of Iraq.”

The transfer of authority to the 25th ID not only signifies the completion of the 36th Inf. Div.’s mission, but also another sign that OND is coming to an end, said Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander, U.S. Forces-Iraq, during the ceremony.

“Normally when we farewell one division, we welcome another into Iraq,” Austin said, “but today’s ceremony marks a significant milestone as OND begins to draw to a close, in honor of our commitment to the security agreement. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our teammates across Iraq, the plan for our departure remains on track.”

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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