CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq --
Regimental Combat Team 6 officially transferred their authority of the area of operations to Regimental Combat Team 1 during a ceremony aboard Camp Fallujah, January 27.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with the Marines of Regimental Combat Team 6 for the last 13 months,” said Col. Richard L. Simcock II, commanding officer, Regimental Combat Team 6. “Our Marines have faced many challenges but have also made immense progress in brining stability and security to the region.”
RCT-1, commanded by Col. Lewis A. Craparotta, was handed a region in transition. Great strides in Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police readiness and cooperativeness with Coalition Forces were made during RCT-6's tenure in Al Anbar. Craparotta said his 1st Marine Regiment is intensely focused on perpetuating the standard set by its predecessor.
“Over the past year, like thousands of other Marines, I watched with great pride, the success of RCT-6 and II MEF,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we can maintain the momentum and continue progress that will eventually lead to a stable and prosperous Al Anbar.”
With the handover complete, RCT-1 takes control of numerous subordinate units, each of which will rotate separately into and out of the area of operations. These subordinate units include infantry battalions from both East and West Coast commands, as well as support units such as artillery, engineers and tanks.
The command and control provided by RCT-1 and the tactical abilities of each of the subordinate units combine to make a formidable coordinated effort in transitioning the security responsibilities to Iraqi Security Forces.
The sacrifices of time and flesh given by Marines throughout history in the name of national defense will not be soon forgotten by a grateful America. From Inchon to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marines from the 1st Marine Regiment have distinguished themselves time and time again as being eminently capable of handling whatever the mission may throw at them.