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18th Airborne Corps Artillery Transfers Authority to 5th Corps

American Forces Press Service

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, Jan. 17, 2006 – Servicemembers witnessed the transfer of authority between the 18th Airborne Corps Artillery and the 5th Corps Artillery here today.

The 18th Airborne Corps unit arrived in Iraq in January 2005, and served as the Effects Coordination Cell and Force Field Artillery headquarters for Multinational Corps Iraq. These responsibilities now go to 5th Corps Artillery.

Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, MNCI Commander, thanked the outgoing soldiers and the coalition forces for their hard work and dedication to the mission, and welcomed the new troops.

"This is an historic time for the people of Iraq and it is made possible by the men and women of the coalition," Vines said. "I could not have asked for more from the 18th Corps Artillery. They were absolutely brilliant."

Brig. Gen. Peter M. Vangjel, outgoing commander, welcomed the incoming commander, Col. Richard G. Cardillo Jr., and his troops while also praising his soldiers for their many accomplishments throughout the deployment.

"You all pushed through the frustration of performing unfamiliar duties and exceeded all expectations," Vangjel said.

Vangjel ended his speech with a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt that he felt accurately captured the efforts to make a difference in Iraq.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better," the general quoted the president.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause - who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

The 18th Airborne unit will return to Fort Bragg, N.C., to monitor and support its battalions currently deployed to Iraq, while preparing the remaining troops for their deployment.

(Based on a news release from Multinational Force Iraq.)

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