Maj. Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of Task Force Ironhorse and 4th Infantry Division, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, division command sergeant major, unfurl the "Ivy" Division colors as command of United States Division-North is transferred from Task Force Marne to Task Force Ironhorse during a transfer of authority ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Nov. 4.
Story and photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller
109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment,
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, Task Force Ironhorse and 4th Infantry Division commanding general, assumed control of U.S. Division-North from Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, Task Force Marne and 3rd Inf. Div. commanding general, in a ceremony Nov. 4 at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq.
The 4th Inf. Div. headquarters element had deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn less than a month earlier.
Perkins, accompanied by 4th Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey, unfurled the Ivy Division colors, signaling the beginning of Task Force Ironhorse’s new mission to advise, train and assist Iraqi security forces in their ongoing mission to provide security and stability for the people of northern Iraq.
“I will endeavor to maintain the gains you have accomplished and continue to display inspired leadership, and use you as an example,” said Perkins, wishing the departing general and his “Dog Face” Soldiers Godspeed, their tour at an end. “Our nation owes you a debt of gratitude, and once again, you have helped determine the destiny of our nation and the world.”
Gen. Lloyd Austin, commanding general of Unites States Forces-Iraq, attended the transfer of authority ceremony as the reviewing officer, and Dog Face Soldiers of Task Force Marne.
“We endeavor to help Iraq achieve national unification, build effective institutions and foster constructive relationships with other countries in the region,” said Austin. “The Marne Division has played a critical role in setting the conditions to make this happen.”
Austin praised the efforts and cooperation of American Soldiers and their Iraqi colleagues, who in the last year have trained and mentored the Iraqi Security Forces as Operation Iraqi Freedom transitioned to Operation New Dawn.
“Our vision is an enduring partnership with a sovereign, stable, self-reliant and unified Iraq that contributes to the peace and security of the region,” said Austin.
Austin also said there is no commander more fitting to follow Cucolo than Perkins, adding that the easy transition between the two headquarters was the hallmark of a successful transfer of authority.
Cucolo joined Command Sgt. Maj. Byron Loyd, acting command sergeant major of Task Force Marne, to case the colors, signifying the end of their responsibility to USD-N.
The mission complete, Cucolo thanked the Iraqi Security Forces, to include the Kurdish Security Forces who secure the northern borders of Iraq, for their professionalism and continuing support of U.S. forces.
“At this moment of departure, I owe my gratitude to many for their support,” said Cucolo, thanking the brigade commanders, Soldiers and Iraqi leaders.