CAMP RAMADI, Iraq -- 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, officially transferred their authority of the area of operations to Regimental Combat Team 1 during a ceremony aboard Camp Ramadi, March 20.
“Ramadi has gone from being the most dangerous city in Iraq to the safest,” said Col. John Charlton, commanding officer, 1/3 BCT. “All of this happened in just over one year’s time.”
RCT-1, commanded by Col. Lewis A. Craparotta, was handed another sector of the Anbar Province which is well on its way to stability. 1/3 BCT increased security by recruiting and training police, increasing their ranks from 2,000 to 9,400 in central Anbar, as well as helping two Iraqi Army brigades increase their strength.
Over the course of their 15 month deployment, 1/3 BCT liberated Ramadi from al Qaeda’s murderous grip and tirelessly contributed to a thriving self-governing Iraq. The brigade also partnered with the provincial capital city and helped cultivate 13 neighborhood districts.
With the transfer of authority, RCT-1 doubled its area of operations and added two new battalions to its command; the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 8th Marine Regiment.
RCT-1 deployed to Iraq in January 2008 and is slated for a year-long deployment.