101st Airborne Makes Handoff In Iraq During Mosul Offensive | Nashville Public Radio

101st Airborne Makes Handoff In Iraq During Mosul Offensive

Nov 17, 2016

The 101st Airborne is no longer in charge of coalition troops in Iraq. The division based at Fort Campbell is on its way home after officially passing the baton.

Over the course of nine months, hundreds of soldiers from the 101st Airborne helped train the Iraqi Security Force. They taught marksmanship, basic battlefield medical care and ways to detect and disarm improvised explosive devices.

The division helped authorize 6,900 strikes, meant to destroy ISIS hideouts and staging areas.

Commanders compare their role to that of football coaches — calling the plays and teaching technique. But the Iraqi forces were primarily the ones in the field.

"We conducted the advise and assist mission to help them synchronize, coordinate, integrate for their operations, but make no mistake, they are executing their plan to take back their country," Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky said in a statement.

The joint force had helped retake several cities, but 101st Airborne soldiers ended up turning over the mission to the 1st Infantry Division based out of Fort Riley, Kansas, before they completed the retaking of Mosul, which has been a key headquarters for ISIS.

Volesky is scheduled to arrive back at Fort Campbell Friday morning along with soldiers who've been serving in Iraq this year. Part of the 101st Airborne is also currently deployed to Afghanistan.