Sunday, September 9, 2007

Soldiers Help Iraqis Rebuild Pump Station

Army officials pleased with progress to restore water distribution.

By Spc. Ben Hutto
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq, Sept. 7, 2007 — Amid various media reports of water shortages in Baghdad, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy) continues to help the residents of the Mada’in Qada find short- and long-term solutions to insurgent-created water distribution problems.

Soldiers from the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), performed an assessment of the Al Bawi pump station, outside Salman Pak, Sept. 4.

Holland, Ohio, native Lt. Col. Todd R. Ratliff, 42, Brigade Special Troops Battalion commander, inspected the building, the pumps and the generators at the facility. “This was an assessment to verify information we were getting from the Qada Council,” he explained.

The Mada’in Qada Council is working to rebuild the pump station damaged in an attack by Sunni insurgents, March 17, 2007. The insurgents targeted the station in an attempt to deny irrigation and drinking water to the Shia population in the towns of Nahrwan, Wahida and Jisr Diyala.

Maj. James Carlisle, 42, from Palm Beach, Fla., chief of Civil Military Operations, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said he is pleased with the progress of the station. “The Iraqi government continues to install more pumps and increase water capacity,” he said. “The progress we see exceeds Coalition forces’ expectations.”

At the station, workers are trying to overcome power issues that prevent the station from running effectively, explained one of the site workers through an interpreter. The station has five generators. Only two of them are currently working. “The power grid is not reliable,” said Ratliff. “They need a new electrical system out there. You could see wires hanging everywhere.”

Ratliff sees some signs of progress. “They are doing okay with what they have,” he said. “What we will do now is go back and review what we have and see what we can do to help.”

Photo - U.S. Army Lt. Col. Todd R. Ratliff, 42, commander Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), 3rd Infantry Division, talks with workers at the Al Bawi pump station, outside Salman Pak, Sept 4, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ben Hutto.

Source: Defend America. Digg! Digg!

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