105th Cavalry takes charge of base defense and camp support operations at Camp Cropper
Headquarters Troop, 1-105th Cavalry stands in formation behind the unit's colors at the squadron's transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Cropper. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Candace Mundt.
Capt. Karl Hanson unfurls Bravo Troop's guidon as the Watertown-based soldiers took over their base defense mission at Camp Cropper. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Candace Mundt.
Wisconsin Guard troops at Camp Cropper took advantage of a trip by Wisconsin's deputy adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson (standing at right), and state Command Sgt. Maj. George Stopper for an impromptu question-and-answer session at Cropper's dini
CAMP CROPPER, IRAQ (PRESS RELEASE) - A half dozen Wisconsin state flags fly in the dusty desert breeze over Camp Cropper, Iraq, where units of the Wisconsin National have taken over responsibility for base defense, camp support functions and other missions for the next eight months.
Camp Cropper is located near the Baghdad International Airport west of the Iraq capital. The camp's mission includes development of trained Iraqi corrections officers and the care of detainees - a mission that requires support from about 900 soldiers assigned to eight Wisconsin Army National Guard units.
"We consider it an honor and a privilege to accept this mission and serve as the Republic of Iraq, Multi-National Force-Iraq and Task Force
134 begin the final steps in securing the future of this nation," said Lt. Col. Michael George, commander of 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry.
About 180 soldiers from the 105th Cavalry's Headquarters Troop from Madison and Troop B, Watertown, are assigned to missions at Camp Cropper.
"We do not take lightly the weighty tasks and challenges ahead of us,"
George said. "We understand how our efforts and actions regarding base defense, force protection and life support impact the security and quality of life for all who live and work on Camp Cropper."
Sustainment is a critical camp function and the 105th Headquarters Troop ensures all tenants at Camp Cropper have adequate living conditions.
The 105th's "mayor cell" is responsible for providing water, electric power, food, recreation and other life support functions for the troops based there. The 105th also supervises maintenance for Camp Cropper's facilities.
"One of our key responsibilities is to establish relationships with other military units, civilian employees and contractors to ensure the best services are being met for our tenants," said squadron Command Sgt.
Maj. Jeffrey Marks. "A large part of our job is really customer service," he said.
Troop B, meanwhile, is responsible for base defense and is prepared to act quickly to disrupt any threats to personnel inside the camp.
"We are responsible for security so only those permitted on base get on base," said Cpt. Karl Hanson, commander of Bravo Troop. "Our force protection measures ensure that all tenants on base are safe."
Six other Wisconsin National Guard units with about 720 soldiers are also serving at Camp Cropper: Company B, 1-128th Infantry; Batteries A and B, 1-120th Field Artillery; the 829th Engineer Company, Company B, 257th Brigade Support Battalion; and the 1158th Transportation Company.
The units were mobilized in February with the entire 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. They relieved units of the New Jersey National Guard in late May and are not expected to return to Wisconsin until early 2010.