BALAD, Iraq (July 27, 2006) -- As they prepared to leave LSA Anaconda, Capt. Toby Austin (right) leads two noncommissioned in their oaths of reenlistment. Shown here are Staff Sgts. Daniel Barnes (left) and Brandon Fitzgerald. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team
Task Force Band of Brothers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2006
Spc. Lee Elder
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BALAD, Iraq (July 27, 2006) – Part of a cavalry unit’s job description is to be on the move; so its latest relocation comes as no surprise to members of B Troop, 2-9 Cavalry, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Band of Brothers.
The troop is leaving Logistical Support Area Anaconda and is headed to Forward Operating Base Warhorse but will eventually wind up joining the rest of its squadron at FOB Normandy. It’s the fourth move for the squadron since arriving in northern Iraq eight months ago.
Packing up and leaving does not phase his troopers said the unit’s top noncommissioned officer, 1st Sgt. Martin Kelley. He said it was just part of being in the cavalry.
“We’ve been operating independently for more than eight months,” Kelley said. “My guys are pretty disciplined and the cavalry’s organization is to go where you’re told. A lot of times we’re told, ‘We want you 100 (kilometers) away and we want you there yesterday,’ so we’re used to doing that.”
The move allows B Troop to relieve Soldiers from the 1-32 Cavalry Squadron, 101st Airborne Division, who have worked the hard-fought area in and around Muqdadiya. Kelley, who hails from Laurel, Del., said either way, the cavalry’s mission remains focused on finding the enemy.
“They give us our battle space area and then our objective is control that area,” Kelley said. “We do route clearance (operations) and get with the population to find out where the insurgents are at. Each area we move to, the mission is pretty much the same.”
To show his unit’s appreciation, Lt. Col. Jeffery Vuono, commander of 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 3rd HBCT, gave the Troop’s commander, Capt. Toby Austin, a plaque marking the Bulldogs’ service as a part of Task Force Pacesetter. He said B Troop had played a large part in the Pacesetter battalion’s success operating in and around Logistical Support Area Anaconda.
The task force was unsure of its mission and the blending of different units while they were training up in Kuwait. However, those concerns were put to rest when they met face to face, Vuono said.
“From the moment I met Capt. Austin and our brothers here from B Troop, 2-9 Cav, I knew we had something special,” said Vuono. “I love you guys and I appreciate all the hard work.
“I am sorry to see you go because I know there’s more to be done.”
While B Troop is off on its next mission, Vuono said the bond would remain. He wished the departing Soldiers luck on their next mission.
“You are always members of the Task Force Pacesetter, 3-29 Team,” Vuono said. “I appreciate you.”
For his part, Austin said his unit is grateful for its time as part of the task force. He hoped the Soldiers would all see each other when they returned to their home at Fort Carson, Colo.
“I just want to say thank you,” said Austin, a Tampa, Fla., native. “Your support has been outstanding. “You brought us here and took care of us. It was great working with you.”
BALAD, Iraq (July 27, 2006) -- Marking the end of their time here, Lt. Col. Jeffrey
Vuono (left) presents B Troop, 2-9 Cavalry commander, Capt. Toby Austin with a plaque honoring their service. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
BALAD, Iraq (July 27, 2006) -- As they prepared to leave LSA Anaconda, 1st Sgt. Martin Kelley gives Soldiers from Troop B, 2-9 Cavalry, their marching orders. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)