Dec. 25, 2007

Maj. Gen. Newman visits 116th troops in Baghdad

Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb presents Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Huffman with gifts during their day long visit to the International Zone. (Photo by Sgt. John Slosser, JASG Public Affairs)

By Sgt. John Slosser
Joint Area Support Group Public Affairs

BAGHDAD – Virginia’s top servicemember, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Huffman, the state’s senior enlisted advisor, touched down on Joint Area Support Group (JASG) territory on Nov. 15th. 

The TAG’s day-long visit to downtown Baghdad centered on seeing the men and women of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stationed there.  He and Huffman traveled throughout the International Zone (IZ) in order to see the various roles and responsibilities Virginia Guardsmen fulfill for the JASG. Later in the day he spoke with whole unit at an awards ceremony.

“It seems like only yesterday you guys were all back home in Virginia with your feet propped up by the fire, not a thought of deploying in your mind. Then this mission came down…and Col. (William) Phillips said you could do it,” said Newman. “I’m proud that Col. Phillips and Command Sgt. Maj. (Carl) Holcomb foster a positive joint atmosphere here on your mission. When you guys come home you’ll be experts in understanding and working in joint operations. That’s just the kind of cooperation we need back home in Virginia, especially since we sit so close to our nation’s capital.”

The TAG also took the opportunity to congratulate various awards recipients. The TAG pinned medals on the chests of several IZ Police Airmen. The fact that some of these Airmen received Army awards was of note to the “joint” minded general.

“I’m glad to see airmen receiving Army Commendation Medals,” Newman said. “I would love to see some of our Soldiers wearing Air Force Commendation medals in the future.”

He also expressed sorrow for the recent loss of one of his fellow Virginia National Guardsmen due to a recent roadside bomb attack. 

“Please be safe, all of you. We will be waiting for all of you to return safely home, when spring is blooming back home in Virginia.”

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