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WüRZBURG, Germany — The 1st Infantry Division has announced plans to transfer authority over its sector of Iraq next week to the 42nd Infantry Division, even as 1st ID troops continue to fly home to Germany.

Maj. Gen. John Batiste will turn over command of his Tikrit-based headquarters to Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday. The name of the command will change from Task Force Danger to Task Force Liberty.

The 42nd ID is part of the New York Army National Guard and is the first National Guard division activated for overseas service since the Korean War. Two veteran brigade combat teams from the 3rd Infantry Division, a regular Army unit based in Fort Stewart, Ga., and many National Guard and reserve units, will bolster the Rainbow Division’s headquarters staff.

For 11 months, the 1st ID and its supporting units from the 25th Infantry Division and 30th Brigade Combat Team have patrolled a West Virginia-size region from Balad in the south to Kirkuk in the north, stretching east to the Iran border. It includes the cities of Bayji, Tikrit, Samarra and Baqouba.

Since the unit arrived in Iraq last year, 135 soldiers under 1st ID’s command have been killed, including 73 from the division’s own Germany-based units.

Seven more military flights from Iraq brought 700 more 1st ID soldiers home to Germany on Wednesday, said Spc. Rebecca Sharpton, a division spokeswoman.

The largest groups included 185 troops from the Schweinfurt-based 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment; 120 from the Kitzingen-based 4th Battery, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment; and 109 from the Schweinfurt-based 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, and 84 from the Schweinfurt-based 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment.


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