Progress Continues at Flank Speed in Iraq
On a fairly regular basis, CENTCOM publishes news releases and other posts of interest that can be picked up by all members of the MSM. As you can see, the articles are pithy and without much fanfare. The post I have included portions of below would take no more than 30 seconds on a typical evening news broadcast or a few column inches in one of the pine box presses. Yet, it remains unreported.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Daily accomplishments, both large and small -- in governance, security and reconstruction -- marked progress toward Iraqi self-reliance as the country marked a year of sovereignty June 28. What follows is a partial list of these successes.Full control in only one year. This is truly a testament to the will and resolve of the Iraqi people.
On June 1, in the first move of its kind, Coalition forces officially transferred full responsibility for security at a base in Dibbis to the Iraqi Army. Two hundred dignitaries and civilians attended the flag-raising and ribbon-cutting ceremony, where the Iraqi Army took full control of base and security operations in the area. This historic move marked another significant step in the Iraqi government's plan to assume full responsibility for security and stability operations across the nation.
That same day, Iraqi Army soldiers, working with Coalition aviation assets, conducted their first-ever air assault. Approximately 35 Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division were inserted into a landing zone near several small towns and villages outside of Baghdad to conduct raids and door-to-door searches for bomb- and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device-making materials and specific persons of interest. The ability to perform these types of operations speaks to the growing maturity of the Iraqi Army.Now remember, these Iraqi soldiers risked their lives simply by joining the securityiry forces -- let alone conducting door-to-door searches.
Reconstruction gained momentum in the Nissan District of Eastern Baghdad, where major sewer and water projects broke ground in Kamaliya and Oubaidi. After completing a site survey, workers began on the project that will ultimately create a sewer network serving 8,870 homes in Kamaliya. The area has never had underground sewage lines and relies on slit trenches, which leads to sewage pooling in the streets. The project will cost about $27 million and will employ 600 local workers at peak construction times. As the sewer project takes shape, an existing water distribution system will be rehabilitated. About 5,435 homes are slated to receive connections to the water main.Thanks to the Coalition efforts, 8,870 homes are connected to a sewer network. These were homes thpreviouslysly relied on a trench system to dispose of sewage. How many of us still rely on septic systems?
On June 4, Basrah airport began civilian flights, opening the gate for business growth in the region. A week later, regular flights began between Hawler International Airport in Irbil and Baghdad. The flights now run three times per week and open a new avenue to encourage foreign capital investment by improving accessibility to IraqÂs capital. Other growth could be seen when the $100 million Al-Ameen electrical substation, which distributes electricity to other substations around Baghdad, it was completed on June 5, after about 10 months of work. Local workers made up 99 percent of the workforce, putting money back into the pockets of the working class.Local work benefiting a new, local economy. This is truly a beautiful thing.
The Iraqi Navy's Predator Patrol Boats commenced interoperability training with an amphibious transport ship on June 7. The training is teaching the Iraqi Navy about ship handling, force protection, and weapons handling.Need I remind my readers what happened to Iraqi athletes in the past if they lost a game or match?
With some help from Iraqi Security Forces, the Iraqi National Soccer League resumed play on June 12. More than 10,000 fans showed up for the first game, held in the Baghdad Soccer Stadium, and watched Basra beat Dahouk 1-0. Iraqi Police officers, Iraqi Army Soldiers and Coalition Forces guarded the soccer stadium, which can hold 45,000 fans. The same team of security forces will provide security for future games, which are scheduled through the end of August.
There is so much more to report. As you can clearly see, any of these topics would have done wonders for the morale of all those fighting for freedom in the middle east. But, I guess that won't sell a box of cereal in the MSM.
Open Post Thanks to The Mudville Gazaette.