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The 1st Cavalry Division will hand over to the 4th Infantry Division responsibility for the security of the greater Baghdad area in a ceremony Wednesday.

While the 1st Cav troops head home after a 15-month tour, the 4th ID command will be returning to Iraq roughly one year after their last tour in Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of the 4th ID, will take the reins from Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil.

On Monday, Fil told reporters that violence had been greatly reduced in the past year, thanks in part to the “surge.”

“We came with a purpose: To improve the security situation here in the Iraqi capital and to set the stage for the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people to take charge of their future,” Fil said. “We’ve had some tough fights battling al-Qaida operatives and criminal militia. But here in the Multi-National Division — Baghdad and across Iraq, the coalition pounded away at the enemy and at their networks, and we’ve seen positive results from that persistent pressure.”

The 1st Cav troops have been returning to their home base at Fort Hood, Texas, over the past several weeks.


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