Jan. 5, 2006

The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division holds its deployment ceremony in Friedberg, Germany.

Feb. 19

“Ready First” takes responsibility for an area of northwestern Iraq that includes Tal Afar.

March 7

Pfc. Ricky Salas Jr., 22, of Roswell, N.M., is the first 1st Armored Division soldier killed during the deployment. Salas, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, died when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle.

March 20

President Bush points to military successes in Tal Afar, drawing insurgents’ attention to the city. Attacks against U.S. troops there increase.

April 15

Operation Duke Storm rounds up some 1,200 Iraqi men in Tal Afar — roughly 5 percent of the city’s population — and results in roughly 100 insurgents arrested without a shot fired.

April 21

The brigade’s monthlong boxing tournament wraps up with four championship bouts in Tal Afar.

May 3

“Ready First” hands security responsibilities for the western border city of Sinjar to an Iraqi army battalion.

May 21

Col. Sean B. MacFarland arrives in Ramadi. Most of the brigade moves from Tal Afar with him around the same time. The brigade’s 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment remains in Hit, while the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment remains in Tal Afar.

June 11

“Ready First” assumes responsibility for the greater Ramadi area. Almost immediately afterward, the brigade begins a “clear, hold and build” strategy by establishing combat outposts in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.

July 14

MacFarland tells reporters that as his unit continues to establish new combat outposts in Ramadi he’s growing more confident that a Fallujah-type offensive is not going to be necessary.

Aug. 2

The brigade launches the biggest battle of its campaign to tame Ramadi. A Navy SEAL is killed in the fighting, 12 insurgents are confirmed dead, and about 15 other enemy fighters are assumed dead.

Aug. 3

Insurgents respond to U.S. forces by launching a two-hour assault on Combat Outpost Falcon. No U.S. troops are killed.

Aug. 9

A roadside bomb kills 1st Sgt. Aaron D. Jagger, 43, of Hillsdale, Mich., and two other soldiers. Jagger, who was the Company C, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment first sergeant, is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to die during the deployment.

Aug. 21

Insurgents gun down the patriarch of the Abu Ali Jassim tribe, which makes up much of the Jazeera area’s new police force. Soon after, some of Anbar’s other sheiks band together to form the Anbar Awakening Movement, which allies itself with the U.S.

Sept. 1

Soldiers from the Giessen, Germany-based 16th Engineer Battalion and Marines with the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion are well into the demolition of an eight-block section of Ramadi opposite the city’s embattled government center.

Sept. 11

A leaked Marine intelligence analysis of Anbar province reportedly claims military operations in the area, which includes Ramadi, are facing a stalemate. The analysis, by some accounts, is believed to contend that the U.S. has already lost in Anbar.

Sept. 25

Army officials announce that about 3,900 soldiers assigned to the “Ready First” Combat Team will have their tours extended by 46 days.

Sept. 29

MacFarland tells reporters that the situation in Ramadi has tipped in favor of U.S. forces, citing local sheiks aligning themselves with the U.S., and police recruiting since increased tenfold.

Oct. 20

The 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment hands responsibility for Tal Afar’s security over to Iraqi forces. The battalion rejoins the bulk of the brigade in Ramadi.

Dec. 6

Two soldiers and a Marine are killed in west Ramadi in a tribal area that had recently aligned with U.S. forces. The tribe, Abu Alwan, takes the attack on U.S. troops personally, and within 10 days, those responsible are killed or captured.

Jan. 10, 2007

Brigade and local leaders meet at a reconstruction conference organized by the brigade.

Jan. 19

Latif Obaid Ayadah, the newly appointed mayor of Ramadi, moves into his office at the Joint Coordination Center and begins meetings with American and Iraqi troops to discuss security and reconstruction.

Jan. 29

Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer talks about progress in Ramadi and tells the press: “We control the entire city.” About half of Ramadi is still dangerous, he said.

Feb. 2

Spc. Alan E. McPeek, 20, of Tucson, Ariz., a member of the 16th Engineer Battalion, is the last soldier assigned to “Ready First” to die in Iraq. He and the replacement he was training were both killed by a large-caliber round from a recoilless rifle.

Feb. 10

The first planeload of “Ready First” soldiers touch down in Germany. In less than a week’s time, about 2,000 troops are back, with only a handful still in Iraq.

Feb. 18

After eight months of fighting in Ramadi, the “Ready First” hands responsibility of the area to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which is now on its third Iraq tour.

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