Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates meets Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment amid a swarm of reporters from the Pentagon press pool. The Soldiers were preparing for a joint patrol with Iraqi Police from Nasiriyah, Iraq, July 28. Soldiers had an opportunity to explain their partnership role with Iraqi Security Force units under the "advisory and assistance" mission. The 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division "Highlander" is deployed out of Fort Bliss, Texas. Photo by Spc. Bradley Jack Clark.