Secretary of the Army Visits Soldiers Deployed for Defeat ISIS Mission
Story by SrA Valerie Halbert on 09/22/2019
Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy visited Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, September 21, 2019 to receive an operational update and learn about the Army’s total force contributions to the defeat Daesh (ISIS) mission.
“It’s great to get out here and I appreciate the time you’ve taken today,” McCarthy said. “It’s amazing to see what we’re achieving with the resources we have.”
During his visit, McCarthy received an overview of the Daesh threat and the efforts made by the Army, in conjunction with Coalition partners, in the mission to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, CJTF-OIR Intelligence Director, explained the threat Daesh still poses after its so-called physical caliphate was destroyed in March 2019. He then described how Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces have successfully maintained pressure on Daesh remnants with the Coalition in a supporting role.
Participants noted that requirements for the Army in CJTF-OIR have changed over the past year and that partnered forces have improved capabilities as a result of training and mentorship provided by the Coalition.
Since 2015, the Coalition has trained over 222,000 Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Security Forces personnel, and have trained more than 4,000 ISF instructors.
Approximately 70% of all uniformed personnel in Iraq and Syria are U.S. Army Soldiers. This number includes Active Duty personnel, Army National Guard and Reserve components.
Examples of Army contributions the mission include:
1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division “Arctic Wolves,” from Fort Wainwright, Alaska deployed across Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces
2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, from Fort Bragg, N.C., partnered with Iraqi Security Forces
244th Combat Aviation Brigade, Army Reserve Aviation, responsible for all rotary and fixed wing aviation in Iraq and Syria
859th Engineer Battalion, Mississippi Army National Guard, responsible for base construction projects throughout Iraq
Special Operation Forces partnered with Iraqi commandos and Syrian Democratic Forces
In addition to receiving an operational brief from CJTF-OIR leadership, McCarthy recognized six service members assigned to CJTF-OIR for their outstanding contributions to the defeat Daesh mission. Each received a special coin from McCarthy.
“I’m super proud of our Army,” Lt. Gen. Pat White, CJTF-OIR and III Armored Corps Commanding General said. “Our Soldiers are doing phenomenal work out here. We put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of young captains and sergeants, and they’re knocking it out of the park.”
The CJTF-OIR, led by III Armored Corps from Fort Hood, Texas, is a 76-nation and 5-Interational Organization task force with the mission of defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria.