ERBIL AIR BASE, Iraq –
The 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Raider Brigade, assumed responsibilities in the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve Combined Joint Operations Area, September 21, 2021, after conducting a transfer of authority ceremony at Erbil Air Base.
The Raider Brigade deployed in support of U.S. Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve. They replaced Soldiers from Louisiana Army National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Tiger Brigade, after several weeks of cross training between the two units.
While Raider Brigade is a Stryker combat team, they did not deploy with their Stryker vehicles, as their mission with CJTF-OIR mirrors that of Tiger Brigade and is not combat related. At the invitation of the Government of Iraq, Raider Brigade will conduct base operating support and force protection operations at Iraqi Security Force’s bases where the Coalition is co-located. They will also continue to advise and assist partner forces in the enduring defeat of Daesh.
Maj. Gen. John Brennan, commanding general, CJTF-OIR, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Lile, CJTF-OIR senior enlisted advisor, along with other senior leaders attended the ceremony as official guests. The ceremony was held with limited personnel in attendance to conform to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
During the ceremony, Brennan spoke of the important impact these brigades have made and will continue to make within the CJOA in support of CJTF-OIR’s advise, assist and enable mission.
“You can’t go anywhere to any out station without seeing a Task Force Tiger Soldier, and that speaks volumes to the effect they have against Daesh,” said Brennan.
During their time with CJTF-OIR, TF Tiger facilitated air and ground de-confliction with the Russian military in the Eastern Syria Security Area. TF Tiger also pushed thousands of tons of Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) equipment from Kuwait into theater, enabling partner forces to continue the defeat of Daesh.
As Raider Brigade transitions into command, their knowledge and training will allow them to continue to assist and advise the ISF, Peshmerga and Syrian Democratic Forces on missions that sustain regional stability and security.
During the ceremony, Col. Scott Desormeaux, commander, 256th IBCT and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Comeaux, 256th IBCT senior enlisted advisor, cased the unit’s colors signifying the completion of their responsibilities for CJTF-OIR.
“Sir, everyone I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the relationships with partner forces that we had a chance to build while here; real relationships built on trust and respect. This is what has carried forward in all that we did as the Tiger Brigade because we truly counted the relationships we made,” said Desormeaux.
“Col. Steadman, I know you guys are just going to blow it out of the water. Your team has come in ready to execute their mission…I think that everybody is in good hands with the Raider Brigade as we continue the fight against Daesh.”
Col. Andrew Steadman, commander, 1st SBCT, 4th ID, and Command Sgt. Maj. Hau Sun, 1st SBCT, 4th ID senior enlisted advisor, uncased the unit’s colors assuming command of base defense operations at Erbil Air Base and other bases in the CJTF-OIR area of operation.
“Task Force Tiger, we feel ready because of how you’ve invested in us so we truly appreciate that,” said Steadman. “For this mission, winning means building strong relationships with our coalition partners, preparing diligently for every contingency and enabling the CJTF-OIR mission in every possible way. We know the standard and we will set a professional example and always be ready.”