The Iraqi Army took control of the base in a 45-minute-long parade which saw the raising and lowering of the flags of each country.
A Press conference to mark the occasion at Basra International Airport was attended by Governor Wa'ili - the Governor of Basrah, General Habib - the General Officer Commanding 10th Division Iraqi Army, Major General Shaw - the General Officer Commanding Multi-National Force (South-East), and the British Consul General Richard Jones.
Shaw commented on 10 Division's remarkable achievement and how the handover reflected the significant progress that has been made in the south towards complete Iraqi security self-reliance. He stated that over the coming months two further bases, Shaibah Logistics Base and the Shaat Al'Arab Hotel, will also be transferred to full Iraqi control.
"True to the Coalition Campaign Plan, and in consultation with my Iraqi colleagues, we are beginning a gradual transition whereby security will be handed over to the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police Service,” Shaw said. "10 Division's operations on Operation Sinbad, its strike operations in Basra and its courageous performance in Baghdad all show that it is a force of emerging capability. Our joint goal is for Al Basrah province to achieve Provincial Iraqi Control, and this is a goal I am sure we all share for Al Basrah."
Captain Emad Khalaf of the Iraqi Army is to become the new officer in command of the Old State Building, located in the centre of Basra.
Chindit Company from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment have occupied the Old State Building since November 2006 after taking over from B Company 1st Battalion The Light Infantry. They are now moving into Basra Palace.
During their time at the Old State Building Chindit Company have endured many attacks on the base.
"The Old State Building has been a very demanding base. It's probably one of the most heavily attacked locations in Iraq. For the guys to be up in the sangars [Guard look-out posts] every night and getting up there despite being shot at, RPG'd and mortared at least every other night is fantastic from them. It's turned the company into a much stronger company. It's a good place to be and a good hard tour to do, but it is time that we moved on and handed it to the Iraqis,” said Platoon Commander Lt. Bradley Pino. "The only bad thing I feel about leaving is that we're leaving our home. We came here and started here and I'd like to finish here but it's a step forward for the Iraqis. I think the locals have put up with us being here and we've provided some security for them but I think the Iraqis will do a better job. It's one of those places where they know the area, they know the people and they're ready to take over control of the security in the area – I think they'll do a better job, a different job to what we've been doing here."