What is it?
The transition to Operation New Dawn, Sept. 1, marks the official end to Operation Iraqi Freedom and combat operations by United States forces in Iraq.
During Operation New Dawn, the remaining 50,000 U.S. servicemembers serving in Iraq will conduct stability operations, focusing on advising, assisting and training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Operation New Dawn also represents a shift from a predominantly military U.S. presence to one that is predominantly civilian, as the Departments of Defense and State work together with governmental and non-governmental agencies to help build Iraq’s civil capacity.
Why is this important for the Army?
The transition to Operation New Dawn represents the U.S. commitment to the government and people of Iraq as a sovereign, stable country that will be an enduring strategic partner with the United States. This has been made possible by the improved capability of the ISF to take the lead in securing their country.
New Dawn also signifies the success of the responsible drawdown of forces and the redeployment of thousands of U.S. Soldiers, as well as the return or transfer of war fighting equipment to the U.S. or to combat troops fighting in Afghanistan.
What will the Army do?
To support the transition to stability operations, the Army has six advisory and assistance brigades (AABs) in Iraq. AABs are designed to partner with ISF and are tailored for the needs of the specific location in which they will operate. They provide security for Provincial Reconstruction Teams and have up to 24 specialty teams which enable them to conduct advisory, security, and training missions, as well as the development of civil capacity.
AABs are structured around the modular design of brigade combat teams but are trained for stability operations, rather than for combat. However, under the security agreement they retain the inherent right to self-defense and are authorized to take necessary action to prevent terrorist activities in order to protect themselves or the people of Iraq.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
For the foreseeable future, U. S. forces will maintain a force strength of 50,000 as it conducts stability operations and partnered counterterrorism operations in Iraq. In accordance with the security agreement, U.S. forces are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. Despite the change in mission, USF-I remains committed to the Iraqi people and will continue to support efforts to build civil capacity throughout Iraq.