MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Montgomery

House Resolution 72

(As Adopted by House)

A RESOLUTION REMEMBERING THE GALLANT SERVICE AND COMMENDING THE DEVOTION, COURAGE AND SACRIFICE OF THE PONTOTOC, MISSISSIPPI, NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS FROM COMPANY A 1-198TH ARMOR BATTALION OF THE 155TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM FOLLOWING OPERATIONS IN IRAQ, AND COMMEMORATING THE OBSERVATION OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM DAY IN PONTOTOC.

WHEREAS, Company A 1-198th Armor Battalion of the 155th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) is comprised of members of the Mississippi National Guard from the Pontotoc, Mississippi, area who have recently returned from combat and humanitarian operations in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard was mobilized in September 2004 representing over 3,000 soldiers from 49 communities throughout Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which is attached to the II Marine Expeditionary Force, also had soldiers from other states: Arkansas, Vermont, Utah and the 2nd of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment who trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for four months prior to its deployment to Iraq; the 155th Brigade Combat Team arrived in Iraq in January 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins, the brigade performed beyond all expectations; and

WHEREAS, while in Iraq, the Pontotoc Unit of the 155th conducted the following combat, security and humanitarian missions in the area of Karbala and Al Hit, Iraq:

Turned over security authority in Karbala to new Iraqi Forces;

Trained and partnered with the Iraqi Security Forces;

Set up security in Iraq's First Primary Elections;

Provided security at water reconstruction projects in Karbala;

Maintained security during the Celebration of Ashura for the Muslim Shiite people;

Assisted in conducting humanitarian projects in rebuilding schools, clinics, hospitals, police stations and crucial infrastructures such as water, sewer and electrical systems;

Trained and partnered with the Iraqi Security Forces to assist in security during various humanitarian and construction projects;

Operated the Karbala Joint Coordination Center (JCC) which was responsible for the coordination of all Iraqi and United States Security Forces in the Karbala Province;

Conducted hundreds of combat patrols providing security for the Karbala and Al Anbar Province;

Aided in capture of insurgents;

Maintained security in the first elections of ratification of the Iraqi Constitution at Al Hit and maintained security for the First Parliamentary Elections;

Operated under the Direct Command of the 2nd Marine Division and aided in Operations-Operation Iron Hammer, Iron Fist and River Sweep; and

WHEREAS, due to the 155th Brigade Combat Team's active involvement in local communities, almost $100 million was committed to these humanitarian and construction projects; and

WHEREAS, during their service supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, many received wounds while conducting combat operations, and 14 Mississippians paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom; and

WHEREAS, with the return of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, the Mississippi National Guard now has the most combat veterans since World War II; and

WHEREAS, March 24, 2006, has been set aside in observation of Operation Iraqi Freedom Day in Pontotoc, Mississippi, to commemorate the valiant and heroic efforts of Company A 1-198th Armor Battalion of the 155th Brigade Combat Team (BCT); and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend the heroic action of a great Mississippi fighting unit such as Company A 1-198th Armor Battalion of the 155th Brigade Combat Team a guardian of freedom as we know it today:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize the gallant service and commend the devotion, courage and sacrifice of the Pontotoc, Mississippi, National Guard soldiers of Company A 1-198th Armor Battalion of the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard following their return from operations in Iraq, commemorate the observance of Operation Iraqi Freedom Day in Pontotoc, extend appreciation to these men and women and their families for their duty to our state, our nation and to the free world as we welcome them home.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Commanding Officer of Company A 1-198th Armor Battalion in Pontotoc, Mississippi, Mississippi Adjutant General Harold Cross and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.