Update from the Col of the 11thacr In Iraq
PETER C. BAYER JR.
Thought I would take a minute and provide you all with an update on the Blackhorse Regiment and our amazing Troopers. First, I would like to thank you all for your continued support of both the Regiment and our Army---can not begin to tell you how much it means to all of us.
Up front would tell you that both CSM Pring and I are incredibly proud to wear the Blackhorse patch and are honored to lead these great Troopers. We both firmly believe the decision to deploy the Regiment to Iraq was a great one and our Troopers performance is validating that decision on a daily basis. To be sure, there have been a few friction points along the way but we are serving where the Army needs us to. We are making progress here and see evidence of more and more Iraqi?s standing up every day to take a stake in the future of their country. I remain cautiously optimistic about the democratic future of Iraq.
The Regimental HQ?s continues to serve as the nucleus of Multi-National Force-Northwest, Task Force Freedom, HQ?s in Mosul. We are absolutely focused on neutralizing the insurgency, creating an effective Army and Police force and an effective government---three very distinct and incredibly challenging mission sets. The challenge of taking a Regimental HQ?s and transforming them into a division level HQ?s capable of synchronizing counter-insurgency operations has been formidable to say the least. What we lack in depth and experience we have made up for with good old fashioned hard work and a mission first Cavalry attitude. Every day brings us a set of new problem sets that many of us have never been faced with before. Will tell you that this is by far the most complex environment I have ever operated in during my 21 years of service. Comparing my tour here in OIF III with that of serving as G3 of 3rd ID in OIF I is like comparing apples and oranges. It was far easier to bring down the former regime than it is to put the country back together now.
Blackhorse 7 and I have had numerous compliments and reports on the superb performance of both 1st and 2nd Squadrons from senior leadership in the AOR. 1st Squadron, led by LTC Jim Blackburn and CSM Washington, serve proudly with the 3rd ID in Baghdad and 2nd Squadron, led by LTC Bill Simril and CSM Rhodes, lead the way for the 155 BCT. These great Troopers continue to aggressively take the fight to the enemy and partner with Iraqi Army units in an effort to help the Iraqi people win the fight for their freedom.
58th Combat Engineer Company just returned to Fort Irwin this past week after completing a highly successful combat tour with the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad. We are thankful to have them back home. The RSS, led by LTC Frank Wenzel and CSM Campbell, continues to anchor the Regiment serving as the 11th ACR Rear simultaneously continuing to support the OPFOR mission to train our Army while taking care of our families. They are doing great work and truly enabling we who are forward to focus on the fight.
Sadly, we have lost eight Blackhorse Troopers during our fight here and have had well over 100 wounded in combat. Troopers who have made the final sacrifice will be remembered always as we endeavor every day to ensure their commitment and service was not in vain.
Thanks again for your support. Ask that you continue to keep our Troopers, those who we have lost their families in your prayers. Will keep you all posted on our progress.
PETER C. BAYER JR.
Chief of Staff TF Freedom/Commander 11th ACR