82nd Paratroopers Prepare to Jump in on Iraq Mission

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3rd BCT PAO, 82nd Abn. Div., MND-B

Col. Craig Collier, commander of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4BCT, 10th Mountain Division, introduces Lt. Col. Dave Buckingham, commander of 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, to local district and school officials after the Motasum Elementary School renovation ceremony in eastern Baghdad.
Col. Craig Collier (left), commander of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, MultiNational Division- Baghdad, introduces Lt. Col. Dave Buckingham, commander of 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, to local district and school officials in eastern Baghdad after the renovation ceremony of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq – Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, continue to transition with their 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, counterparts in Baghdad; the Panther Team will partner with the Iraqi Security Forces and local government officials during its 12-month deployment to Iraq.

For the Paratroopers of the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn Div., the transition began to take shape by assisting local Iraqi officials during a renovation ceremony for the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad.

The ceremony gave leaders of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., a chance to introduce 5th Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt. leaders to local district and school administrators.

Paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne, MND B, assist Iraqi officials during the opening of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad.
Paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, assist Iraqi officials during the opening of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad. Paratroopers are transitioning with the Soldiers of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

The shift of the two brigades is a great process between the organizations, said 1st Lt. Bradley Wilson, the assistant fire support officer for the 5th Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt.

“It has been a smooth transition between us and (10th Mtn. Div). They have been very helpful in advising us on what is going on in the area,” said the native of Green Bay, Wis. “We look forward to continuing what the 10th Mtn. Div. did here and assist the ISF if needed.”

The shift is also helping Paratroopers adjust to life in a combat environment.

For many troops this is their first deployment, and they are looking forward to helping the ISF, said Sgt. Steven Keller, a member of the personnel security detachment for the 5th Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt.

Lt. Col. Dave Buckingham, commander of 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, MND B, speaks with Col. Craig Collier, commander of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4BCT, 10th Mountain Division, after the renovation ceremony of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad.
Lt. Col. Dave Buckingham (left), commander of 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, speaks with Col. Craig Collier, commander of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, after the renovation ceremony of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad. Collier formally introduced Buckingham to local district and school officials in eastern Baghdad.

“They are very excited and eager to help, and they are starting to feel more relaxed in their surroundings,” said the Indianapolis native.

For Paratroopers of the 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., their yearlong deployment comes at an historic time for the Iraqi people. The Iraqi government has scheduled provincial elections for Jan 31. National elections are also scheduled for later in the year.

By Staff Sgt. Alex Licea