Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New commander for British forces in Iraq

Major General Andy Salmon took over from Major General Barney White-Spunner as General Officer Commanding of Multi-National Division (South East) Iraq at a ceremony held yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2008.

Major General Andy Salmon

The Governor of Basra, tribal leaders, and the Commander of the Iraqi Army in Basra joined coalition troops for the ceremony which took place at Basra International Airport.

Speaking at the event Lieutenant General Lloyd J Austin III, Commanding General Multi-National Coalition - Iraq, said:

"General Barney and his headquarters have performed superbly. Within a week of their arrival, the Government of Iraq launched the Charge of the Knights Operation to restore the rule of law here in Basra. Multi-National Division (South East) is key to supporting the operation through partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces."

Major General Barney White-Spunner has been the General Officer Commanding of Multi-National Division (South East) since February this year. He said:

"Let me thank the leaders and the people of Basra. Basra the beautiful, Basra the lung of Iraq, and how good is it now that the people have their city returned to them. Basra now stands poised to be the economic miracle of the Gulf, with the security forces provided by the Iraqi Security Forces it will soon rival Dubai or Bahrain."

With the help provided by British forces, the Iraqi 14th Division in Basra is developing into a very effective military force. It has already demonstrated its ability to plan, execute and sustain operations which has lead to the vastly improved security situation.

General Mohammed, Commander of the Iraqi Army, added:
"Iraq, its Government and its people will remember the efforts that have been made for some time with respect and appreciation."

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