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BAGHDAD — The freshly deployed soldiers of V Corps Artillery formally took over as the big guns of Multi-National Corps-Iraq in a transition ceremony Tuesday at Camp Victory, relieving the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery.

The V Corps unit now has responsibility for the day-to-day field artillery operations of U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq, according to an Army news release.

During the ceremony, MNC-I commander Lt. Gen. John R. Vines – who is set to turn over authority to Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli on Thursday — praised the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery.

“I could not have asked for more,” he said, according to the news release. “They were absolutely brilliant.”

The XVIII Airborne Corps deployed to Iraq in January 2005 and will return to Fort Bragg, N.C., to “monitor and support” its battalions currently deployed to Iraq and those deploying in the next force rotation, officials said.

Brig. Gen. Peter M. Vangiel, the commander of XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, quoted Theodore Roosevelt in his address to the outgoing and incoming troops.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause — who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat,” he said.

Vangiel is succeeded by Col. Richard G. Cardillo Jr.

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