BAGHDAD, Sep. 3, 2006 – Soldiers from 1st Iraqi Army Division assumed control of the Abu Ghraib prison here from U.S. Army Task Force 134 in a ceremony here Sept. 1.
Iraqi soldiers will provide security for the facility - now vacant -- until the Ministry of Justice dispatches its own security detail. "Returning the empty prison to the control of the Ministry of Justice clearly says that enforcement of the rule of law is a cornerstone of the constitutional government of Iraq," said Col. Monam Hashim Fahed, the Iraqi battalion commander.
Marines from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, will remain with the Iraqi brigade for a short time and serve as a training cadre to assist the Iraqi unit through the initial stages of their mission, officials said. Additionally, an RCT-5 military transition team that has mentored the brigade for the last year will continue to advise the Iraqi commanders and supply any requested guidance.
"It highlights the continued responsibility of the Iraqis," said Army Lt. Col. Scott Marley, the military transition team leader.