Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Public Affairs, Press Desk

SOUTHWEST ASIA – Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, III Armored Corps Commanding General, assumed command of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) from Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General, during a Sept. 5 ceremony here featuring an audience of hundreds of U.S. and Coalition Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Presiding over the transfer of authority ceremony was the Commanding General for U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel.

Votel expressed confidence that the III Corps team from Fort Hood will be ready to continue the fight to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“When III Corps was here last, they were instrumental in greatly increasing the pressure on ISIS and setting conditions by training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian opposition groups,” Votel said. “Their hard work led to the recapturing of Fallujah and the airfield at Qayyarah—posturing the ISF to begin clearing Mosul, the ISIS stronghold in Iraq.”

The III Armored Corps previously led the CJTF-OIR Coalition from September 2015 to August 2016.

Soldiers from the III Armored Corps have spent the past several months undertaking intense training to prepare for the mission, and Funk has given high praise for the achievements realized by CJTF-OIR’s Coalition and Partner Forces during the XVIII Airborne Corps period of leadership.

“ISIS’ brutality forces us to look deep into the heart of darkness.  They condone the systematic murder of women and children, the enslavement of religious minorities, and the torture and execution of captured prisoners,” Funk said. “As a result of the magnificent work of this strong Coalition, real change is happening.  ISIS is on the run.”

Since its establishment in June 2014, CJTF-OIR – a global Coalition consisting of more than 72 nations and organizations – has increased the capabilities of partner forces, and significantly degraded the ability of ISIS to plan, resource and execute attacks worldwide.  Their collective accomplishments include:

  • Trained and equipped nearly 115,000 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and over 11,000 vetted-Syrian counter-ISIS forces.
  • Recaptured more than 82,000 square kilometers of territory previously held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
  • Set free more than 5.5 million men, women and children in Iraq and Syria.
  • Conducted more than 26,000 strikes against ISIS in support of partner forces in Iraq and Syria.

Funk shared his vision for the CJTF-OIR mission ahead.

“The very existence of ISIS poses a threat to the civilized world and our way of life.  We must defeat them, and our collective effort WILL defeat them,” Funk said.


Editor’s Note:

Ceremony imagery is available on DVIDS at: