BAGHDAD - While many units are preparing to move out of the Iraqi cities to meet the deadlines set in the January 2009 Security Agreement between Coalition forces and the Government of Iraq, Joint Security Station Ur, which is located on the outskirts of Baghdad, is expanding to accommodate the closing of JSS Sadr and JSS Ford.

"We have already put up T-walls on the outer perimeter of the complex to provide security and we have also cleared nearly 10 acres to support the move," said 1st Sgt. James Funk, a native of Logan, Ohio, assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. "It was tough getting the ground cleared," he added.

The place was a mess, according to Funk. It was like a huge junk pile covering a swamp, which presented a small problem. Funk overcame the obstacles by having the ground cleaned and smoothed out. Front-end loaders cleared out old Hesco barriers and debris from the area to make room for a new motor pool. Then, heavy cranes hooked chains up to cement T-walls and moved them into place to reinforce the inner-perimeter.

"Once we got the right tools we cleaned all of the junk from the area in less than two days," said Funk. "We also filled the ground with rocks to firm it up to keep vehicles from getting stuck."

The expansion portion of the project is complete. The next step hinges on the Containerized Housing Units arriving on time.

Between 50 and 80 CHUs are expected to arrive in Ur by the end of May according to Funk. "Once the CHUs are in we can apply power and add T-walls around them and we will be ready for the [Soldiers from the] closing JSSs to move in," Funk explained.

Even after the CHUs are put into place and the rest of the Soldiers move in, improvements will continue to be made such as building a Morale Welfare Recreation facility for the Soldiers.

"A new dining facility will be built, which is great 'cause right now our cooks are working out of a Mobile Kitchen Trailer and they are doing a great job," said Funk. "Three shower trailers and three laundry trailers will also be brought in to accommodate the growing facility."

Soldiers at JSS Ur adapt to the changes being made to the expanding base to make room for their fellow Soldiers from the other JSSs. Each day, they are adapting and overcoming obstacles one at a time.

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