It seems like just yesterday for me, but it has been over 15 years; in mid March of 2003, United States and coalition military forces took military action against Iraq and its President, Saddam Hussein. By mid March of 2008, United States troops killed in Iraq reached 4,000.
Some questioned if the Operation was actually working which was called Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Because of many U.S. citizens calling for an end of this War, in July of 2008, United States troop levels are reduced. Americans begin to train Iraqis in security operations and troops are pulled from towns and cities.
In August of 2010, the troop level reaches a low since the start of just 52,000. Just 1 month later, the Operation in Iraq is named Operation New Dawn.
In today’s post, I am going to give you the top 10 cool facts about Operation New Dawn.
#1: The New Responsibilities
Once Operation New Dawn went into effect, U.S. troops then had new responsibilities. They were to conduct stability operations which included advising, training and assisting Iraqi Security Forces.
The main goal was to give Iraqi citizens the control over their nation and the education to keep adversaries from controlling the “climate.”
With this new Operation, the Army created AABs. There were 6 Advisory and Assistance Brigades who were designed to partner with Iraqi Security Forces and had specialty teams that allowed them to provide:
- security for reconstruction,
- and developing civil capacity
The official date of the change from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn was September 1st, 2010.
#4: New Commander
When Operation New Dawn started, United States forces in Iraq received a new Commander. General Ray Odierno gave the reigns to General Lloyd Austin.
#5: Health Concerns For Troops
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Top 44 Iraq War Facts
- The Iraq War Timeline: What Every American Should Know
- The 7 Different Campaigns of the Iraqi War: An Overview
- Iraq Campaign Medal: 10 Cool Facts
- The Top 10 Iraq War Battles
#6: The Announcement
The start of Operation New Dawn was considered the end of War in Iraq. As such, at Baghdad International Airport, Army General Martin E. Dempsey, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Army General Lloyd J. Austin III, commanding General of U.S. Forces Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey addressed U.S. and Iraqi officials along with troops and media from around the world.
#7: Airspace Control Handed Over To The Iraqis
The U.S. is turned over airspace control from 15,000 to 24,000 feet in the northern sector of Iraq known as the Kirkuk sector. The plan directs all civilian radar air traffic control to consolidate at the Baghdad Area Control Center with airspace to be handed over as the Iraqi air and navigation infrastructure improves.
#8: The British Leave
In late May of 2011, all British forces left Iraq.
#9: The Switch Brought Some Chaos
One week after the switch to Operation New Dawn, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on United States troops. 2 were killed and 9 injured. And it also came to the attention that many members of the Sunni Awakening Council joined back in the insurgency or joined al Qaeda.
#10: December 18th, 2011
On December 18th, 2011, the rest of U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq. There were still private military contractors and Embassy staff plus guards. But it meant that Operation New Dawn was completed.
So many years were spent in Iraq. Did we do the country good? I believe we could hear opinions on all sides of that question.
What I do want to say is, to all who served in Iraq, thank you. You took risks and we owe you deep gratitude.
If you served in Iraq during Operation New Dawn, feel free to tell us more.
Thanks and have a great day!.
About The Author
Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.