Partnerships key to Iraqi construction projects
December 2, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Iraq -- There are many ongoing construction projects across the country as U.S. Forces support the re-establishment of infrastructure for the people of Iraq.
Many times, partnership is the key to these projects reaching to completion.
Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Wings' partnership with multiple units and agencies at Forward Operating Base Warrior, near Kirkuk, Iraq, is a microcosm of that necessary union.
Capt. James Pascoe, commander, HHT, 2-6th Cav. Regt., and 1st Sgt. Drew Berry, troop first sergeant, have undertaken a mission to help improve the squadron's readiness, living conditions and overall efficiency with an ambitious, large-scale construction project.
"We are spending $1.2 million to build 57 new [containerized housing units]. Approximately $550,000 on force protection for our Black Hawk pads, and $450,000 on clean water and electrical systems," said Capt. Pascoe, the Contracting Office Representative. "The total is between $2.5 and $3 million."
The COR also shared a pleasant secondary effect of dealing with Iraqi contractors and agencies as they worked the contracting aspect of the projects.
"We are hoping to train the Iraqi business community on how to provide a quality product," he said. "We are not only partnered with Iraqi military forces, we're partnered with Iraqi civilian contractors so that they can support both the military and civilian infrastructure."
"I think this is the most important thing that they can learn from us ... that it really is all about your Soldiers and Soldier readiness," said Berry.
These upgrades will improve quality of life and working conditions for the 400-plus strong squadron, according to Berry.
"Soldiers won't be wasting their time," he said. "They're going to be able to get up, go get something to eat and then go to work, and they won't have to go very far for a change. And they'll have a little bit more time to themselves instead of spending an hour riding the bus every day to get to and from work. So we're just improving the quality of life for our Soldiers and their ability to do their best."