After a year of rigorous operations in support of Operation NEW DAWN, you can rest assured your accomplishments will leave a lasting impression on the people of Iraq and their government.
Few units could have successfully opened and closed Theater Internment Facilities at Camp Cropper and Al Asad Airbase and detention facilities at Sather Airbase and COB Adder, Iraq…all while leading and working with a heavy cavalry troop. You were the only MP battalion to control such combat power in Iraq – a truly amazing circumstance.
Beyond this monumental task, your efforts to build detention capacity and capability in the Iraqi government will bear fruit long into the future. As your commander, LTC Erica Nelson mentioned recently, you were the “right unit at the right time” for this mission.
Your hard work and support to Iraqi forces have given them the tools to be successful in the future. Whatever happens in Iraq in the rough days ahead, they now have to ability to safely and humanely maintain correctional facilities for their fledgling government.
I have seen the list of challenges you overcame and the accomplishments you achieved while deployed, including providing training and oversight of over 150 Iraqi Correctional Officers and coordinating the $3 million construction project at the Camp Cropper and transferring over 250 detainees and the Camp Cropper and Al Asad Airbase facilities to the Government of Iraq. Nothing I could say could more accurately portray how vital you were to the success of US Forces-Iraq and the Government of Iraq than your list of accomplishments.
I wish you and your families a joyful reunion and a restful yet productive 2012!
DAVID G. PERKINS
Lieutenant General, USA