10th Mountain Takes Over from 1st Armored in Iraq

Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, incoming commanding general of Combined Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve and 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, New York, and Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel J. Roark uncase their division colors during the transfer of authority ceremony for the Combined Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve in Baghdad, Iraq, March 19, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/Michael Reinsch)
Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, incoming commanding general of Combined Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve and 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, New York, and Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel J. Roark uncase their division colors during the transfer of authority ceremony for the Combined Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve in Baghdad, Iraq, March 19, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/Michael Reinsch)

The Army's 10th Mountain Division, one of the most deployed units in the military, has taken over the role as the ground element in Iraq from the 1st Armored Division.

In a ceremony Monday in Baghdad, Army Maj. Gen. Robert P. White, commander of the 1st Armored Division, based in Fort Bliss, Texas, cased the division's colors and turned over command to Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, commander of the 10th Mountain, based in Fort Drum, New York.

Piatt replaces White as commander of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve, or CJFLCC-OIR.

Piatt will report to Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, which is leading a coalition of 75 nations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In their nine-month deployment, "the 'Iron Soldiers' [of the 1st Armored] saw the end of the tough fight to seize the crown jewel of ISIS' so-called caliphate in Mosul," Funk said.

"Life is beginning to stabilize in liberated areas, but the battle against this barbaric enemy is not over," he added.

Funk also paid tribute to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) for their lead role in the campaign to defeat ISIS. "Thousands of Iraqi martyrs made this possible," he said.

The "Mountain Soldiers" of the 10th Mountain will continue the CJFLCC mission to support the training, advising and equipping of ISF to bring about the complete and lasting defeat of ISIS, Piatt said.

"We are deeply honored to take our place in this coalition," Piatt said after joining with Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel J. Roark in uncasing the 10th Mountain's colors.

According to the 10th Mountain's website, the division "has the distinction of being the most deployed military unit when a humanitarian, natural disaster, or conflict arises in the world."

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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