RDOF Team says goodbye to Command Post-South
DIYALA, Iraq — The Soldiers of Command Post - South at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Diyala province said goodbye to approximately one third of their team, Aug. 7. The departing Soldiers were part of the responsible drawdown of forces, which will reduce the number of troops in Iraq to 50,000 by Sept. 1.
The night before the team began their trip home, Task Force Marne Deputy Commanding General Maneuver, Brig. Gen. Patrick Donahue, held a small awards ceremony for the departing team, during which he presented awards, offered congratulations and thanked the Soldiers for all their hard work.
“This group of Soldiers reflects the whole of Task Force Marne,” Brig. Gen. Donahue said. “Out of the five who are leaving us, three Soldiers are on their first deployment, and they didn’t want to leave the team. The other two were on their second and third deployments, and they offered to give up their seats so they could stay. This commitment is what Task Force Marne is all about, a blending of the old and new Soldiers to form an unbreakable bond.”
CP-South consists of a small team of officers, noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted personnel who act as a remote command team. They track significant events, information and coordinate missions for Brig. Gen. Donahue.
After the awards ceremony, all of the Soldiers received a certificate of appreciation from the CP-South team, followed by a round of slaps on the back, handshakes and hugs.
“I am excited; I’m going to miss everybody here.” said Pfc. Joshua Mashburn of 3rd Signal Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division. “CP-South was a great place to station. If I ever had any issues or problems, the family here would always be willing to help me out.”
Early Saturday morning, the team had their gear staged in front of the CP-South tactical operations center; they exchanged goodbyes and a few words of encouragement with the remaining CP South team. They loaded up a truck with the usual rucksacks, duffel bags and assault packs, piled themselves in and headed to the passenger terminal. After a brief delay due to dust storms, they left FOB Warhorse on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for the last time.
“They were definitely an asset while they were here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Thompson, the CP-South noncommissioned officer in charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Operations Company, DSTB, 3rd ID. “The remaining personnel will step up to fill the void. I have every confidence that they will be able to continue the mission.”
By Capt. Timothy Nash,
CP South, Task Force Marne Public Affairs Off