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BAGHDAD — The U.S. military will have transferred five forward operating bases and 15 combat outposts to the Iraqi government by June 30, Multi-National Division—Baghdad commander Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond said Tuesday during a lunch with reporters.

The transfers are being made in order to meet security agreement requirements that American combat forces withdraw from "Iraqi cities, villages and localities" no later than June 30.

FOB Rustamiyah will be the largest Baghdad base to be turned over to the Iraqis, said Brig. Gen. Robin Swan, the deputy division commander. The Iraqi government will take control of that base by March 31, officials said.

FOB War Eagle, near Baghdad’s Suleik neighborhood, and FOB Justice in Kadhimiyah will both become joint security stations when the United States transfers the bases to Iraqi control. Iraqi security forces are already using both bases.

FOB Loyalty in east Baghdad also will become a joint security station. The Iraqi army is considering stationing the Rusafa Area Command or some other headquarters on the base, Swan said.

FOB Callahan, the first of the five forward operating bases to be transferred, was turned over to Iraqi control Jan. 3, just two days after the security agreement took effect. The Iraqi Ministry of Trade is in the process of renovating the Adhamiyah building back into the market it once was.

Bases that remain joint security stations will primarily be staffed by U.S. advisory units, Hammond said. Other troops will only stay on the bases in exceptional cases, and even then it will only be at the request of Iraqi security forces. Hammond couldn’t say how many soldiers would remain on each base, except to say that they would rarely house more than 100 troops.

The transfers will leave Multi-National Division—Baghdad in possession of two of its biggest bases, although these are outside the Baghdad city limits. U.S. forces will remain on FOB Falcon, just outside Baghdad, and on the Victory Base Complex, just west of the capital — which includes Camp Liberty and Baghdad International Airport.

The Victory Base Complex includes at least two division headquarters, as well as the headquarters for Multi-National Force and Multi-National Corps—Iraq.

The security agreement, signed late last year, outlines a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011.

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