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Dutch Handover to British Forces in Al Muthanna, Iraq
Published Tuesday 8th March 2005
The Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP, Armed Forces Minister chats to members of the Royal Military Police in Al Muthanna, during the hand over parade.
Dutch and British troops on parade in Camp Smitty. (Picture: Cpl Chris Hargraves RIC)
On Monday 7th March, at a handover ceremony at Camp Smitty in As Samawaha, the principle city of Al Muthanna province, British Forces assumed command from the Dutch battalion.
British troops started their initial deployment to the area two weeks ago. In preparation for their role providing continuity in the provision of security in Al Muthanna province, they have already carried out joint patrols with the Dutch and Iraqi Security Forces.
Armed Forces Minister, Adam Ingram, attending the flag ceremony, said:
British Major General Jonathon Riley, Commanding MND(SE) said:
The UK is deploying around 600 troops to the province - the majority drawn from forces already in-theatre, with some 450 Australian troops expected to arrive in the near future.
This scheduled re-deployment within the Multi-national Division (SE) follows the Dutch decision to leave Iraq, and follows an announcement by the Secretary of State, Geoff Hoon last month.
The Dutch contribution to MND(SE) has been significant in bringing stability to the Al Muthanna Province. Based in the city of As Samawah they have been working to strengthen the Iraqi Security Forces, with over 5000 now trained and patrolling in the area.
The Japanese component of some 600 troops continues to provide humanitarian assistance and economic support to the region. The British troops deployed to Al Muthanna province, MND(SE) are drawn from the 2nd Battalion, the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (2PWRR), based at Turnhill in Shropshire, the Queens Dragoon Guards (QDG), based at Munster in Germany and additional supporting units.
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