Thursday, February 26, 2009

Iraqis Assume Authority Over FOB Iskan

MNFI.

FOB ISKAN, Iraq – Soldiers, Iraqi Police and power plant workers gathered to transfer authority of Forward Operating Base Iskan from Coalition forces to the Ministry of Electricity during a ceremony here Feb. 22. The ceremony officially turned over the responsibilities of the FOB to the Ministry of Electricity and signified that the Iraqi government has the capability to secure the Musayyib Thermal Power Plant.

Al Abd Al-Ameer Al-Yasseri, the General Director of Operations at the Ministerial Presidency and Lt. Col. Steven Miska, commander, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, both spoke about what it meant to transfer the responsibility for FOB Iskan over to Iraqi officials. “This transfer of authority reinforces the Iraqi government’s independence and demonstrates the capabilities of the Iraqis,” said Miska.

Lt. Col Mary Morehouse, Deputy Director of Personnel, Logistics and Resource Management for Multi-National Force - Iraq, and Al-Yasseri, signed the official paperwork transferring the authority of FOB Iskan over to the Ministry of Electricity.“The Iraqis have come to a point where they can stabilize security on and around the FOB ” said Capt. Bradley Kinser, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, 1st Bn., 2nd Inf. Reg. The Musayyib Thermal Power Plant is located on FOB Iskan. The power plant provides power to the majority of Babil Province and 25 percent of the electricity to Baghdad.

Security for the plant will be one of the major responsibilities for the Ministry of Electricity. The last attack by ant-Iraqi forces on the FOB happened around late October 2008, when a mortar attack occurred and left many Iraqis without electricity. The power plant had stopped generating electricity in 2003 due to anti-Iraqi forces’ activities.

Coaltion forces maintained the security on the FOB, while the Iraqis fixed and continued to work in the power plant. Approximately 1,600 employees work at the power plant.

Lt. Col. Mary Morehouse, deputy director of Personnel, Logistics and Resource Management for Multi-National Force - Iraq, and Ali Abd Al-Ameer Al-Yasseri, general director of operations, Ministerial Presidency, prepare to sign the official paperwork transferring the authority of Forward Operating Base Iskan to the ministry of electricity during a ceremony, Feb. 22. The ministry of electricity will be in charge of maintaining security for the Musayyib Thermal Power Plant and its 1,600 employees located on the FOB.

Source: CENTCOM.

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