Ironhorse takes the reigns in Iraq

U.S. Army/Sgt. John Couffer - At left, Col. Scott Efflandt, commander of 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, aids Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Lance Lehr in the uncasing of the colors during a transfer of authority ceremony Aug. 13 at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu. The ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Ironhorse Brigade in Iraq. - -

By Sgt. John Couffer

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

COS KALSU, Iraq - For the fourth time in the history of the Ironhorse Brigade, the uncasing of colors once again takes center-stage in the blowing sands of Iraq.

The 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, traded roles with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Aug. 13 during a Transfer of Authority ceremony.

The transfer of authority signifies the beginning of a new chapter for the Ironhorse Brigade in Iraq, as it officially assumed responsibilities of its predecessors.

"You all have done an outstanding job and it certainly shows this morning," said the ceremony's guest speaker, Maj. Gen. Eddy Spurgin, the commander of the United States Division-South. "I'd expect no less from (cavalry troopers) of the Lone Star State."

Spurgin gave memoriam to 14 fallen Brave Rifles Soldiers and their personal sacrifice. He also attested to the endured hardships and impressive successes of the Brave Rifles command during its tenure in Iraq.

Ironhorse will maintain the mission of continued security in south-central Iraq and assist in the orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"We have a monumental task ahead," Col. Scott Efflandt, the Ironhorse Brigade commander, said during his speech at the ceremony, "to close the door on our nation's investment in building a strong, stable, and democratic country of Iraq."

Col. Efflandt said he looks forward to facing the challenge of taking the responsibility in closing the final chapter of U.S. Forces in Iraq.

He said that such a role is a great fit for the Ironhorse Brigade.

During the last three deployments, Efflandt said the Ironhorse Brigade has made historic changes in the lives of the Iraqi people and this time will be no different. Although the road ahead will be full of hard work, he said, "we will leave this place better than we found it."

In his closing remarks, Efflandt said, "We will leave with our heads held high knowing that our impact throughout the last decade in Iraq will have forever changed history."

"As potentially one of the last American units to leave Iraq, you will have unique role in Operation New Dawn that few others will share," Spurgin said to Efflandt, "Whatever happens, I know that you and your Ironhorse troopers will make us proud."

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