MOSUL, Iraq --- The Hand-over/Take-over ceremony for Task Force Praesidium Commandership between the Italian and U.S. Armed Forces has marked the withdrawal of the Italian contingent from the Mosul Dam.
The Italian Armed Forces have handed over command of Task Force Praesidium to the U.S. Armed Forces. Task Force Praesidium operates within the framework of the Mission in Iraq.
The ceremony that has marked the return to Italy of our military engaged in protecting the Mosul Dam was attended by Italy's Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Antonio Pasquino, and Brig. Gen. Nicola Terzano, Commander National Contingent/Training Director of the Coalition in Iraq.
In particular, Battalion Commander 187th Paratroopers' Regiment "Folgore" has handed over the command to Commander Charlie Battery-1st Battalion-161st Regiment-U.S. Army
Gratitude for the excellent work done as regards integration with the Iraqi forces has been expressed to the Italian authorities. Such integration allowed achieving brilliant outcomes in the field of security and area stabilization, and to guarantee the support needed to allow repair work at the Mosul Dam to be carried out regularly.
The Italian Government decided to deploy a Task Force to protect workers engaged in repair work at the Mosul Dam after an Italian company had won the relevant bid. The contribution was implemented in agreement with Iraqi authorities.
The dam is a critical strategic infastructure: it allows supplying water to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens leaving in the neighbouring area. The collapse of the dam would endanger local people's lives, and jeopardize the economy and development of the entire area, besides causing severe environmental damage. The dam is extremely important for the economy and the political situation of the area. It is therefore easy to understand how it is a fundamental element for territorial development, as well as a strategic asset in the Iraqi stabilization process.