AL ASAD, Iraq – The 9th Regional Commando Battalion, Iraqi special operations forces, celebrated the official opening and naming of their compound during a ceremony June 3 in Al Asad, Iraq.
“Today we celebrate the Al Asad RCB,” said Maj. Gen. Jalil, the Counter Terrorism Bureau chief of staff. “This RCB will help the Iraqi national counter terror force to [fight] terrorism. I hope these great soldiers will continue the mission to protect this area.”
Although the soldiers and leaders of the 9th RCB are experienced and have conducted operations before, the ceremony marked the official recognition of ISOF’s newest battalion.
“In the years since I have been here, Iraqi special operations forces have had an incredible pace,” said Army Brig. Gen. Simeon Trombitas, commanding general, Iraqi National Counter Terrorism Force Transition Team. “Every night, men of the Iraqi special forces strike terrorism with precise lightning raids that will subdue the threat and help bring peace to Iraq.”
Considering the vast area of Al Anbar province, the 9th RCB will be called upon to provide extra security in the region. Having this new addition will aid in the effort to rid the province of destabilizing and criminal elements.
“This RCB will be a steel hand to combat all enemies of Iraq,” said the 9th RCB commander. “We will remain the good soldiers to protect the unity of Iraq.”
As enemies creep across the borders or spring up from within the country, the soldiers of ISOF and their leadership are what may stand in the way of civilians being harmed.
“I would like to see this RCB continue their great effort to combat terrorism [and] never allow these terrorists to be here in Anbar or the rest of Iraq,” said Dr. Shakir al-Ubaydi, from the Counter Terrorism Bureau. “We, as citizens of Al Anbar, are the first people to suffer. That is why we should have the first [action] to join the effort to combat terrorism.”
With agencies like the Counter Terrorism Bureau, Iraqi National Counter Terror Force, Iraqi army, Iraqi police and special weapons and tactics, the efforts of Iraq’s guardians will not be without the reward of peace and stability.
“As all the special forces soldiers know, Al Anbar was a very violent area, but [ISOF’s] presence, their persistence and their focused operations brought stability to the province,” said Trombitas. “The presence of the 9th RCB will ensure that peace is maintained here.”