I Corps HQ returns from Iraq Sunday

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., I Corps commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Frank A. Grippe, I Corps command sergeant major, and about 50 Soldiers assigned to the I Corps Headquarters will be reunited with friends and family during a “homecoming” ceremony and colors uncasing ceremony Sunday at Gray Army Airfield on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The ceremony is currently scheduled for Sunday, March 14 at 2 p.m.

The I Corps headquarters staff will arrive at Gray Army Airfield aboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing at JBLM-McChord Field. The 62nd AW Commander, Col. Kevin J. Kilb, and 62nd AW Command Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Warren joined the aircrew to conduct the strategic airlift from Iraq. Col. Kilb will be piloting the aircraft.

The I Corps Headquarters, which consists of more than 900 service members, is completing a 12-month deployment to Iraq, where I Corps served as the headquarters element for Multi-National Corps Iraq, supporting U.S. and multi-national units deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As MNC-I, the Corps’ mission included command and control of multi-national forces supporting Iraqi security operations and coordinating the planned reduction of U.S. forces and equipment in Iraq and ongoing transfer of security responsibilities to Iraqi Security Forces.

I Corps’ staff worked closely with Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC), establishing a Combined Partnership Operations Center (CPOC) at Camp Victory to further improve communication and coordination with Iraqi Security Forces. By June 30, 2009, U.S. and multi-national coalition forces had successfully withdrawn to bases outside urban city centers, and Iraqi Security Forces assumed direct control for security operations in Iraqi cities.

Multi-National Corps Iraq combined with Multi-National Forces Iraq to become U.S. Forces Iraq on Jan. 1, 2010, further consolidating command and control of U.S. forces deployed in support of operations in Iraq, as part of the planned withdrawal of forces stipulated in the January 2009, Security Agreement with the Iraqi government.

This homecoming and colors uncasing ceremony will mark the completion of a successful I Corps deployment. This deployment was the first since the Korean War that the entire I Corps Headquarters, also known as “America’s Corps,” was deployed in support of combat operations. Since its formation in 1918, I Corps has participated in more campaigns than any other corps in the U.S. Army’s history and is the only corps ever to be awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.