The U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division is preparing to deploy to Iraq to help lead and train coalition soldiers in their ongoing effort to drive Islamic State fighters from the city of Mosul.
The “Big Red One,” based at Fort Riley, Kansas, held its assumption of command and casing ceremonies on Tuesday morning at the base.
About 500 soldiers from Fort Riley will deploy to Iraq this fall, the Pentagon announced last week, relieving the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The Army has installed a new commander at Fort Riley, Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, who replaces Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby. Grigsby was removed from his command last month and is now the subject of an Army investigation.
Our Big Red One soldiers are well-trained and ready to continue the tremendous support the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the coalition are providing to our Iraqi allies. Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin
“Our Big Red One soldiers are well-trained and ready to continue the tremendous support the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the coalition are providing to our Iraqi allies,” Martin said in a statement.
The 1st Infantry Division will help Iraqi commanders, soldiers and police train and plan for operations to remove from the Islamic State from Mosul, the largest city it controls. The counter-Islamic State effort, Operation Inherent Resolve, began in August 2014.
Iraqi forces, with the support of the U.S.-led international coalition, began the operation to liberate Mosul on Monday morning.
The Big Red One has participated in every major conflict of the past century, from World War I to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Fort Riley, between Junction City and Manhattan, Kansas, has been its home since 1955.