Panetta, U.S. Military Leaders Attend End-of-Mission Ceremony

Department of Defense Photo Essay

  • U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, left, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey greet U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta upon arriving in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. Panetta spoke at the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq and told troops they would leave Iraq knowing that their sacrifice helped the Iraqi people. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, right, walks with U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, after arriving in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, center, meets with U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, right, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey, left, before the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey, left, U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, center, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, right, share a moment before the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta addresses the audience before he presents medals to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffery and U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces, at Baghdad International Airport, Iraq, Dec. 15,  2011. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, right, claps as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey, left, presents a State Department award to U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, center, before the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. Jeffery thanked Austin for his tireless efforts in making Iraq a free nation.


greet U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta after arriving in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. 
 DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. U.S. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, left, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, listened to Panetta's remarks. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. Panetta told troops they would leave Iraq knowing their sacrifice helped the Iraqi people. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey addresses the crowd during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq on Sather Air Force Base, Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. U.S. Army photo by John Helms
  • U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph R. Allen case the command's flag during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq on the former Sather Air Base, Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo
  • U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph R. Allen case the command's flag during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq on the former Sather Air Base, Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011.  DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Army soldiers listen as U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. soldiers retire the command colors during the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks to troops after the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. Panetta told troops they would leave Iraq knowing their sacrifice helped the Iraqi people. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta listens to a question from a soldier in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta walks down the tarmac during an interview with Jennifer Griffin of Fox News after the ceremony marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks with flight crew members aboard an Air Force C-17 in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo