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The 1st Infantry Division officially handed over its aircraft support mission to the 42nd Infantry Division on Feb. 2 at Forward Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, as the Big Red One took another step in wrapping up its time in the country.

The 1st ID’s 4th Aviation Brigade commander, Col. Walter Golden, transferred authority of the mission to Lt. Col. Mark Burke, commander of the 42nd Aviation Brigade, in a short ceremony on the base in north central Iraq.

“You are off to a great start establishing a commendable reputation for aviation mission support,” Golden said in a 1st ID news release.

Maj. Gen. John Batiste, 1st ID’s Task Force Danger commander, said during the ceremony that he was confident the 42nd’s units would carry forward work started by the 1st ID. The units include the 1st Battalion, 150th Aviation Regiment; 1st Battalion, 17th Cavalry Regiment; 642nd Aviation Support Battalion; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

“You have already made a name for yourself since you arrived and you will continue to provide world-class aerial support,” he said in the release.

Burke complimented the 4th Aviation Brigade on its work during the past year and vowed the 42nd would continue to perform just as well.

“We have been preparing for this mission since this last May, and now we are fully prepared thanks to the efforts of the 4th Aviation Brigade,” he said during the ceremony. “You can be sure that all your efforts will not be in vain.”


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