Joint effort brings reliable power to Iraqi citizens
April 14, 2009
BAGHDAD - Not long after arriving in Iraq and settling into their battle space, the Soldiers of the 2nd "Paxton" Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Heavy "Dagger" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Multi National Division - Baghdad, picked up where their predecessors left off with numerous projects aimed at improving the quality of life for the citizens of the Abu Ghraib district west of Baghdad.
One such project aimed at improving the dependability of electricity for the residents of the Agurquf area was recently completed, giving Iraqi and Dagger Brigade leaders the chance to celebrate the event at the Abu Ghraib Power Station on March 8.
"Today is the culmination of months of work to improve the electrical grid here in Abu Ghraib," said Lt. Col. Samuel Hayes, commander, 2-112 Inf. Regt. "This was made possible by the partnership between Iraqi and Coalition forces working to improve the power across the Qada."
The ability to provide better basic services has been heightened by the increased security in the region. With a greater focus on providing for the people of Abu Ghraib a number of parties got involved in the power project and brought the line back to life.
"Under the leadership of Ghalib Bakir Mohammed, director general, Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, the people of Abu Ghraib Qada have a new 33 volt feeder line, which connects new and refurbished sub stations in Vabon and Agurquf," said Capt. Jackie Manton, 225th Engineer Brigade, MND-B. "This project will provide better, more reliable power to the people of Abu Ghraib."
The 225th Eng. Brigade works as project managers in direct support of Dagger Brigade initiatives aimed at improving the infrastructure in the Dagger operational area.
The improvements to the power grid are one of many projects under way west of Baghdad as the Dagger Brigade and its subordinate units in the west aim to improve all aspects of life in their recently acquired battle space.
For the Soldiers of the Paxton Battalion the opportunity to help improve the lives of Iraqis is not going unnoticed.
"Any time you can improve the quality of life through improvements in electricity, water, sewage and other essential services, everyday life improves for the local citizens," said Hayes. "When you have something like this happen it is a big day; electricity is something we all come to depend on."
Over the course of the next month the Abu Ghraib district will see the opening of more than three schools along with a playground and improvements to the area market.
The improvements highlight the increased ability of the Iraqi Security Forces in the area and give the Soldiers of 2-112 Inf. Regt., a tangible view of the quality of life improvements they are a part of.
"We have facilitated an improvement in the daily life of the average Iraqi," said Hayes. "To me that is a big deal and I know my Soldiers share that same sense of accomplishment and pride."