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"Iraq - mission accomplished!"


The troops of the 26th Neagoe Basarab Infantry Battalion organized a ceremony, "Iraq - mission accomplished!" attended by President Traian Băsescu, in Camp Dracula, Tallil, Iraq, on June 4.

The event marked the end of the Romanian troops’ participation in IRAQI SUNSET operation. It was also attended by the Minister of National Defence, Mihai Stănișoară, CHoD Admiral Gheorghe Marin, Ph.D., other civil and military American and Iraqi officials.

On this occasion, President Băsescu decorated the Colors of the 26th Scorpionii Roșii Infantry Battalion with the Order Virtutea Militară "in acknowledgment and appreciation for the professionalism of the battalion troops proved in combat training and for the devotion in accomplishing their tasks in the theater of operations in Iraq and for promoting a professional image of the Romanian Armed Forces".

In his speech to the troops President Traian Băsescu, declared "The fight you fight here in Iraq is a great service to your country. Thanks to you, the foreign policy of our country is stronger while at political level words have been endorsed by facts. I thank you for what you did for Romania, I wish you a safe and fast return home and I want to assure you of my and the entire Romanian people’s affection. God bless you!"

For their courage, spirit of sacrifice and initiative in combat, Defence Minister Mihai Stănișoară awarded Brig. Gen. Cătălin Tomescu deputy chief of J5 within the Multinational Force Command Iraq the Merit Medal În Slujba Păcii, first class while Capt. Radu Puchiu and NCOs Florea Sas and Adrian Belei were awarded the Honor Emblem of the Ministry of National Defence.

CHoD Admiral Gheorghe Marin, handed in the Medal of Honor of the General Staff to the commander of the 26th Infantry Battalion, LTC Gabriel Toma and six other officers and NCOs.

Each Romanian soldier was offered a personal gift consisting in a penknife bearing the inscription Irak 2009 and Oferit de Președintele României (offered by the President of Romania).

In turn, the troops offered President Băsescu the last Colors hoisted in the field of Tallil, symbol of their mission ended in Iraq. I shall keep the Colors in my office or in the room of the Superior Council for National Defence. Until then, allow me to keep it the way you did during your mission, by my heart", said President Băsescu, when handed the recently lowered Colors.
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Starting July 2003, Romania participated in the international efforts to bring stabilization to Iraq, both within the Multinational Force (MNF-I) and within NATO mission to train Iraqi security forces (NTM-I). For IRAQI FREEDOM Romania deployed from July 2003 to December 2008, an Infantry Battalion (12 rotations), staff and liaison personnel, Intelligence officers, an Engineer Detachment and a Military Police Detachment. There were 838 military personnel involved in the initial stage, while at present there are 365 troops left. After December 31, 2008, our troops contribution continues until July 31, 2009, based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Iraq and Romania. The expenses of the Ministry of National Defence from the beginning of the mission amounted to 334 Mil. ROL by December 31, 2008.

MoND Press Office

 

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