Members of the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at Kirkuk AB, Iraq, on May 28 transferred authority for base security to soldiers from the 1st Special Troops Battalion. The squadron was then officially inactivated, becoming the first Air Force unit to fully withdraw from Kirkuk since the buildup of US forces there beginning in April 2003. This inactivation is part of the overall drawdown of US forces in Iraq. “To the Army and the new security team, we wish you quiet nights and peaceful days,” said Lt. Col. Theodore Ruminsky, the 506th ESFS commander. He continued, “And to the men and women of the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, thank you for your service. Thank you for your support. Outstanding work, defenders.” (Kirkuk report by MSgt. Martie Moore)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.