Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Rebuilding Iraq, One Province at a Time

"Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, Task Force Liberty are working with the people of the Diyala Province to build schools, improve the water supply, pave roads and rebuild their local government.

Coalition Soldiers are providing Iraqis with money to improve their way of life and, in order to ensure projects in the Diyala Province are progressing on schedule, Soldiers conduct routine checks of these sites.

The work the Soldiers are doing is helping to rebuild the city services, said 1st Lt. Jeremy Krueger, civil-military operations officer for Task Force 1-30, and native of Pensacola, Fla.

"I think the projects in our [area of operations] are important," said Krueger. "What we are doing is improving the infrastructure for this whole area that has been torn down over the last several years. It’s helping the population immensely. It is providing new schools for them, new roads, new water projects, water supplies that they have never had and also some of the projects are businesses that are going to provide some revenue for the area."

The unit is still working on developing more projects in order to better the area, said Sgt. Maj. Matthew J. West, civil-military operations sergeant major for Task Force 1-30 and a native of Dallas, Texas.

We have 83 projects that have been submitted or are currently underway, West said.

"Out of those, we have a variety of different types of projects. The majority of our projects right now (include) anywhere from 35 to 40 schools that are being rebuilt. We have a lot of water projects through three of our major cities and also sewage projects," he said.

1st Lt. Jeremy Krueger, civil military operations officer for 1-30th, and native of Pensacola, Fla., and his translator observe as Iraqis work to build a school in the Diyala Province. (Photo by Sgt. Jennifer J. Eidson, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Krueger said he believes they are making progress with the people of the Diyala Province.

"We get a lot of support from cities and even with a lot of the individual residents," he said. "We get a lot of positive feedback when we go out and do some of these projects and inspect them."

Part of the unit’s job is to help local leadership learn how to develop their infrastructure and run operations on their own, Krueger said.

"Every day that we go out and interact with the local governments, [we] try to show them that we are there to help," Krueger said. "At the same time, teach them how to solve problems and provide solutions on their own with less and less of our help."

The democratic government is working well in the area, West said.

"The individuals know they have a right to vote," West said. "They are working on voting registration right now and, with the upcoming elections between the October and December time frame, I think we are going to have a good turn out. People understand that democracy in this area is going to be in the road ahead."

West said he believes they are able to help the Iraqis rebuild their city because they are taking the steps that need to be taken for the province’s future.

"I think the key thing is understanding where these people are and where they need to go," West said. "I think they’re understanding the democratic process and [we are] also ensuring that these projects are being accomplished to benefit the people of the Diyala Province."
-By Sgt. Jennifer J. Eidson
22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (source)

...Army girls...
one, two, three, four, five, six

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