The 1st Infantry Division assumed command of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during a Transfer of Authority ceremony today at Forward Operating Base, Union III, Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, relieved Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commanding general, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell as the commander of the multinational land component command working by, with, and through, the government of Iraq to defeat ISIL in Iraq.
Presiding over the ceremony was the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve commanding general, Stephen J. Townsend. Townsend spoke of the extraordinary accomplishments of the 101st Abn. Div. during its tour in Iraq.
“Most remarkable was CJFLCC’s support to the Iraqi’s with training, equipment, intelligence, advice, and fires that enabled them to prepare for and begin their counterattack to liberate Mosul,” said Townsend. “A battle now fully joined. CJFLCC’s support made it possible for Iraqi forces to begin liberating the second largest city in the country and deny ISIL its claim to a capital in Iraq.”
In partnering with the government of Iraq, CJFLCC-OIR is also partnered with the Iraqi security forces, which include the Iraqi army, the Iraqi air force, the Counter Terrorism Service, the federal police and the Kurdish Peshmerga. CJFLCC’s mission extends beyond military operations. It also includes the full range of the Coalition’s national power, including: diplomatic, informational, economic, law enforcement and other aspects of national power – all in an effort to eliminate ISIL and help provide security to the people of Iraq.
This marks the second tour for the ‘Big Red One’ in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The ‘Fighting First’ became the first division to lead CJFLCC-OIR in 2014. This deployment also coincides with the centennial celebration for the U.S. Army’s longest-tenured division, having been in service since its activation in support of World War I in 1917.
Townsend concluded his remarks with some encouraging words for the new command team as well as all those in attendance.
“Iraq will be liberated from the threat of terrorism and ISIL’s brutal and tyrannical methods,” Townsend said. “The liberation of Mosul is on the horizon and you will help our Iraqi brothers to reach it.”
Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, commanding general of 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley and the division's senior enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Curt Cornelison, uncase the 'Big Red One' colors during the Transfer of Authority ceremony, Nov. 17, 2016, in Baghdad, Iraq. This is the second tour for the 1st Inf. Div. in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) senior enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj., Gregory Nowak, passes the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command - Operation Inherent Resolve colors to Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, outgoing commanding general, CJFLCC-OIR, during the Transfer of Authority ceremony, Nov. 17, 2016, in Baghdad, Iraq. The ceremony marked the end of the 101st Abn. Div.'s nine-month deployment and officially transferred authority of the CJFLCC-OIR mission to Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, commanding general, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley.