SOUTHWEST ASIA –
The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve Over the Horizon Force recently completed a rapid deployment force protection mission in Iraq and returned to its home base at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
The OTH force normally consists of two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and an infantry company that are on 24-hour standby ready to be "wheels up" at a short notice to complete missions. The OTH responds when needed in the Combined Joint Operations Area to support ground personnel, recovery operations, conduct air assaults and assist in overall force protection missions.
CJTF-OIR routinely conducts troop movements in Iraq and Syria as units replace each other when they rotate in and out of the U.S. Central Command Combined Joint Operations Area. These units consist of personnel and equipment with specific capabilities.
The retrograded forces included infantry and aviation units from the Iowa, Minnesota and Louisiana Air National Guard. With their two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, the 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment along with the 2nd Bn., 156th Infantry Regiment provided 24-hour standby support in Iraq.
As need for the OTH presence in Iraq tapered, the CJTF-OIR began the three-phase retrograde to reconstitute the unit with CJTF-OIR’s reserve force, which is prepared to operate throughout the theater from Kuwait.
The first two phases involved assessing equipment and personnel inventory needs to provide continued support to brigades and partner forces in the theater. The third phase included the strategic movement of those assets.
"The mission of CJTF-OIR and its’ partner forces, the ISF, Peshmerga, and SDF, remains- to defeat Daesh in designated portions of Iraq and Syria," said Col. Wayne Marotto, CJTF-OIR Director of Public Affairs and Spokesperson. "To provide the defeat Daesh support, our combined task force must be strategic in any movement, and the deployment and phased retrograde ensured such. By phasing the retrograde, our team was able to move back to their base of operations in Kuwait without degrading support in Iraq."
The Coalition’s continues to support its partner forces to defeat Daesh remnants and its enduring defeat. The OTH Force provides the flexible rapid deployment force throughout the CJOA 24/7 to degrade Daesh, support partner forces and stabilize the region, said Marotto.