By Air Force Senior Airman Christie Putz
Special to American Forces Press Service
June 11, 2007 – Much work needs to be done to protect the Iraqi people, but the new general overseeing training for Iraqi security forces is "precisely the right man for this position at this time," the officer in charge of coalition forces in Iraq said. During the ceremony, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, said Dubik has been known throughout his career for his impressive creativity, resourcefulness, innovativeness and impressive leadership skills.
Dubik previously served as the commanding general of 1st Corps and Fort Lewis, Wash., where he trained and sent thousands of soldiers into the fight that he now joins. Both 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, units he commanded at Fort Lewis, are deployed to Iraq.
Dubik succeeds Army Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who will go on to serve as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Central Command, with headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
Petraeus - who held the training post before Dempsey -- commended Dempsey's accomplishments, citing examples of progress made. "There are now 350,000 Iraqi security forces members in the fight," Petraeus said. "Many thousands more are being recruited and trained."
He cited the improved living and working conditions for the Iraqi soldiers and some of the equipment they now have to help them in the fight: tracked and wheeled vehicles, up-armored Humvees, patrol cars and boats, helicopters, C-130 cargo aircraft, pistols, rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.
Dempsey said he is confident that the future of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and NATO Training Mission Iraq looks bright with Dubik in the lead. "Lieutenant General Dubik will be a magnificent commander and brother to Iraq's senior military and civilian leaders," he said.
In his remarks, spoken all in Arabic, Dubik said he is grateful for the opportunity to do his part.
"I am committed to helping Iraq defeat the insurgents and achieve its desire to rule itself in peace and justice, with equality and opportunity for every citizen," he said. "The future of our children will depend upon our wisdom and determination."
(Air Force Senior Airman Christie Putz is assigned to Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq.)
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