Commander Free Reflects Last Six Months Of Operations
As the service tour ends for a UK Coalition commander, Brigadier Julian Free commented on the scene and state of conditions in the Basra region, where he has been assigned for the last six months. Brigadier Free deployed to Basra with his unit in the fall, October of the year 2007 to supervise the security transfer to Iraqi forces of Provincial Basra and the surrounding region. His unit was also responsible for providing support and training to Iraqi Security Forces during their Operation Charge of The Knights, which was largely successful.
“I have to be very grateful for everyone that has supported and assisted my unit during our Iraqi Deployment,” stated Brigadier Free. “Our friends and families at home, as well as local citizens here in Iraqi have been invaluable with their support and encouragement, we could not have performed our duties and done our job without their much appreciated support,” said Free.
The tour by Brigadier Free and his UK Coalition unit was marked by a great deal of change, as the transition of security responsibility from Coalition hands to Iraqi responsibility took place. The transition was slow but steady, and eventually the security responsibility was assumed by the Iraqi soldiers and security personnel.
The arrival in theater of the UK Coalition was an event that while expected was new to everyone in the unit. It was not what was predicted, but in some ways the transition has gone more smoothly than was predicted.