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Monday, June 30, 2008

U.S. transferes first 1,000 of 8,000 humvees to Iraqi forces

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has transfered 1,000 combat vehicles to Iraqi security forces.

Officials said the Humvees would enhance the autonomy of Iraqi security forces and facilitate counter-insurgency operations. The United States plans to transfer 8,000 Humvees to Baghdad by the end of 2009.

"No one now disputes the progress made in the security arena or in the political and economic arenas," outgoing U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, said. "The transfer of the 1,000th Humvee is an important milestone for those who remember when Iraq had no up-armored Humvees and virtually no vehicles."

Also In This Edition

The military, which commemorated the transfer on June 26, handed over the M-1114 up-armored Humvees to the Iraq Army and security forces. The Humvees had been used by the U.S. Army in Iraq and were refurbished before their transfer.

The June 26 ceremony marked the first transfer of up-armored Humvees to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, responsible for the police and security forces. Until now, the Humvees, under a program that began in March 2008, had been relayed to the Iraq Army, overseen by the Defense Ministry.

"We look forward to that day when we stand alone to fight the terrorists and join our forces with the American forces to fight the global war on terrorism." Iraqi National Security Advisor Muwafaq Rubaie said.

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