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101st Airborne Division Unit Takes Control of Baghdad Sector

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2005 – The 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division formally took control of the southwestern Baghdad area of operations from the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team on Oct. 31.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Col. Todd Ebel (left) commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, and Army Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team, stand before their brigades during the transfer of authority Oct. 31. Rodeheaver's brigade turned authority of the security of southwestern Baghdad over to Ebel's brigade. Photo by Pfc. Kelly K. McDowell, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, 48th BCT commander, and brigade Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson cased the unit's colors, representing the end of their mission and responsibility for this area.

Shortly after the 48th's guidon was cased, Army Col. Todd Ebel, commander of 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division, and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, the brigade's senior enlisted soldier, uncased the colors of the "Strike Brigade." This action symbolized the 101st's acceptance of responsibility for the area and the support and security missions it entails.

In his remarks to the assembled troops, Rodeheaver expressed his pride in his soldiers and the job they have done since June. He also wished the soldiers of the 101st luck and thanked them for their professionalism during the transitional period.

Following the general's address, Ebel said, "This ceremony is not about us, but about Iraq and what we will give to Iraq."

He also spoke of the importance of the unit's mission, which is to help bring peace to people who have not enjoyed peace in their history.

The colonel praised the 48th for providing a smooth transition. He then wished them well on their next mission as the theater security force for all of Iraq.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Task Force Baghdad soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, assisted a 9-year-old boy with severe burns in a rural area of Abu Ghraib.

The soldiers were on a routine patrol when a family asked for their help. The 9-year-old boy had burned himself with boiling cooking water, resulting in second-degree burns over 6 percent of his body, Army 1st Lt. John Shea, convoy commander for the mission, said. The child had been rushed to a local hospital in the area but was not treated for unknown reasons.

"When we originally spoke to the mother, the boy was not present but we did promise to return that evening to treat the boy's wounds," Shea said.

"He was very tough putting up with the pain, which is a trend of all the Iraqi kids," said Army Spc. Bernard John, the unit's medic who treated the boy with bandages and ointment.

Shea said his patrol plans to visit the boy again to monitor his recovery.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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