Rumänien / Irak

Roman­ian Forces End Mis­sion in Iraq

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq, June 9, 2009 — Mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Iraq for­mal­ly end­ed for Roman­ian forces June 4, as one of America’s coali­tion allies pre­pared to ship out some of its remain­ing troops with an end-of-mis­sion cer­e­mo­ny held by Romania’s 26th Infantry “Red Scor­pi­ons” Bat­tal­ion.

Lt. Col. Gabriel Toma, com­man­der of the Roman­ian army’s 26th Infantry Bat­tal­ion, con­ducts an inspec­tion of troops with Roman­ian Pres­i­dent Tra­ian Bases­cu dur­ing an end-of-mis­sion cer­e­mo­ny June 4, 2009, at Con­tin­gency Oper­at­ing Base Adder, Iraq. U.S. Army pho­to by Sgt. Mark Miran­da
(Click pho­to for screen-res­o­lu­tion image);high-resolution image avail­able.

The Roman­ian flag was low­ered over the 26th’s com­pound here, affec­tion­ate­ly known as “Camp Drac­u­la,” in a cer­e­mo­ny fol­low­ing a memo­r­i­al for the Roman­ian mil­i­tary per­son­nel who died in sup­port of Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom. The cer­e­mo­ny was held just an hour before the U.S. Army 1st Armored Division’s 4th Brigade Com­bat Team con­duct­ed a relief-in-place, trans­fer-of-author­i­ty cer­e­mo­ny with the out­go­ing 4th Brigade Com­bat Team of the 1st Cav­al­ry Divi­sion.

Roman­ian Pres­i­dent Tra­ian Bases­cu, who is the supreme com­man­der of Roman­ian armed forces dur­ing wartime, was on hand.

Roman­ian Lt. Col. Gabriel Toma, com­man­der of the 26th Infantry Bat­tal­ion, received the U.S. Bronze Star Medal from Army Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jaco­by Jr., com­man­der of Multi­na­tion­al Corps Iraq.

It’s hard to say farewell to a trust­ed part­ner,” Jaco­by said. “Few have been as com­mit­ted to free­dom of the Iraqi peo­ple as the Roma­ni­ans, and I extend my thanks, as it’s been an hon­or to serve with them here in Iraq.”

Jaco­by praised the Roma­ni­ans as a ded­i­cat­ed and capa­ble force, and expressed con­do­lences for their lost sol­diers.

Since August 2003, Roma­nia has deployed more than 5,200 troops to Iraq in sup­port of Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom. Assigned to two dif­fer­ent multi­na­tion­al divi­sions, Roman­ian forces have pro­vid­ed intel­li­gence sup­port to Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion South by con­duct­ing recon­nais­sance and sur­veil­lance mis­sions and oper­at­ing unmanned aer­i­al vehi­cle plat­forms. Roman­ian forces also pro­vid­ed base secu­ri­ty, sup­ply-route secu­ri­ty and quick-reac­tion forces in Bas­ra, and con­duct­ed train­ing and mon­i­tor­ing of Iraqi army units, cul­mi­nat­ing with the May 23 grad­u­a­tion of Iraqi com­man­dos on Camp Ur.

By Army Sgt. Mark Miran­da
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice
(Army Sgt. Mark Miran­da serves with the 1st Armored Division’s 4th Brigade Com­bat Team.)