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Vanguard Brigade takes over Iraq duty
Fourth now working south of Baghdad
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The Third Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade “Vanguard” Combat Team has officially taken responsibility for Forward Operating Base Kalsu and the surrounding area of Iraq south of Baghdad.
The 4th BCT was the last of the 3rd ID units to depart for Iraq, leaving at the end of October. Its tour is scheduled for 15 months.
“We are honored to join Task Force Marne, the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi people in their efforts to secure their homeland,” Col. Thomas James, commander of the 4th BCT, said at Transfer Of Authority ceremonies.
Before the TOA, individual soldiers in the Vanguard Brigade worked closely  with their counterparts of the 25th Division of Fort Richardson in Alaska, who they are replacing.
TOA procedures ensure the overall transition from one unit to the next go as smoothly as possible.
The TOA marks the official start of the Vanguard Brigade mission in Iraq. It is also the start of the brigade’s second deployment in the support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The brigade team flew to Kuwait to fall in on equipment shipped there and did some training and preparation before moving into Iraq.
Units of the 4th BCT include the 3-7 Infantry, the 4-64 Armor, the 6-8 Cavalry, the 4-3 Battalion Troops Brigade and the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion.
The 4th Brigade’s deployment marks the second time since 2005 that all units from Fort Stewart — and the entire 3rd ID — were simultaneously deployed.
The division’s 1st BCT went to Iraq in January according to the Army Forces Generation schedule and is expected to return in April 2008. The return of the 2nd BCT is slated for August 2008.
The Marne division's headquarters is also deployed to Iraq, as is its 3rd BCT from Fort Benning.

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