BAGHDAD - U.S. engineers are completing construction of a Joint Operations Center for both Iraqi and Coalition forces.

Soldiers from Company A, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, attached to Multi-National Division-Baghdad, are nearly finished with work on the centralized workspace for Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and the 11th Iraqi Army Headquarters.

"In order to be more hands-on, we must share everything including workspace," stated Maj. Kevin Wallace, battalion executive officer. "Our workspace will mirror their workspace, even down to how many desks are in each office."

Since the Security Agreement calls for closing of smaller combat outposts and joint security stations throughout Baghdad, engineers have been diligently working to create work and living spaces outside the city.

Constructed in an abandoned warehouse hangar, the 4,300 square feet JOC will provide ample workspace for both staff sections that currently exist in two small offices. It will have 10 secured offices, a tiered conference room with computer workstations, and a combined working area for battle tracking.

"Every day the Iraqi General comes over asking if we need any help," said Staff Sgt. Gary Butler, 46th ECB (H), a native of Dallas, the construction project non-commissioned officer in charge. "He even let us borrow his pressure washer and a few of his Soldiers to help clear the surface of debris and dirt before we began construction."

Once completed, the facility will increase operational capabilities and integration with the Iraqi Army partners. Joint facilities such as these are critical as the Iraqi Security Forces take the lead in securing peace and stability in Baghdad. The construction project should be completed June 19.

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