CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE Q-WEST, Iraq- Within 24 hours, several units from the 16th Sustainment Brigade delivered 36,000 meters of concertina wire, or the length of about 394 football fields, to Iraqi Security Forces at Forward Operating Base Marez on Jan. 25.

The concertina wire, a type of barbed wire formed in large coils, was provided to the Iraqis for use in securing polling sites during this year's provincial elections.

This entire effort was a partnership between Iraqi Security Forces and Soldiers to ensure the Iraqi people had a safe election process where their voices could be heard through their votes, said Maj. Roger D. Jackson, a construction officer for Bamberg, Germany's 16th Sust. Bde.

Jackson said he and his Soldiers worked with Iraqi Security Forces by delivering wire and helping them create a safer environment during the elections.

"Although we only have 24 hours to complete this mission, and they need the wire today, then they'll get the wire today," Jackson said. "We'll do what we can to help them have a safe election to continue to get their government on the right track."

Spc. Jeromy B. Westphalin, a native of Diana, Texas, with the personal security team from the 16th Sust. Bde., said he was excited to be a part of a mission that dealt with helping secure Iraqis' safety and their right to vote.

Westphalin said it's a Soldier's job to do what is asked of him, but he's particularly motivated to get the mission started and do his part to help the people of Iraq who want to cast their vote.

With little time to organize this mission, Jackson said the first step was to consolidate all the concertina wire available on their base. The Soldiers consolidate all the wire they could find at COB Q-West.

Then, Soldiers and contractors worked together to load 24,000 rolls of wire onto their vehicles.

After figuring out how much wire was needed at each location, they began the distribution process, Jackson said. The Soldiers divided the wire among the voting centers before returning to Q-West.

These types of missions are especially rewarding because it's Soldiers and Iraqis working together to help the process of moving Iraq forward, Jackson said.

Jackson added he was very proud to be part of the mission where a partnership between the Iraqis and Soldiers helped contribute to safer voting conditions for the Iraqi people.

Story by Spc. Kelly Anne Beck

FOR HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS, CONTACT 3D ESC PAO/215TH MPAD AT
DSN 318-433-2412/2234 OR E-MAIL MAJ PAUL HAYES AT PAUL.R.HAYES@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16