CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Coalition Soldiers are partnering with the Iraqi Department of Veterinary Medicine to improve the Samawa Veterinary Hospital and a nearby slaughterhouse.

The improvements will help the veterinarians diagnose and treat livestock while increasing the slaughterhouse's cleanliness in the southwestern Iraqi province.

The Muthanna Provincial Reconstruction Team and Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division delivered a new livestock treatment center and an electric generator, which will greatly enhance operations at Samawa Veterinary Hospital. The troops have also partnered with the local Muthanna farmers union to dispense 500 tons of barley and wheat seeds to local Iraqi farmers.

The Muthanna PRT worked with the troops of the 43rd Medical Detachment, 1st Medical Brigade, III Corps, from San Antonio and personnel from Texas A&M University to train local veterinarians on some of the latest methods and procedures to diagnosis and treat sheep, cattle and camels. The teams used video teleconferencing to connect local veterinarians with the professors at Texas A&M.

The PRT and 43rd Med. Det. also vaccinated, de-wormed and dipped 28,000 sheep and treated more than 150 cattle during a three day period.

The medical detachment analyzed animal blood and tissue samples provided by the Muthanna Veterinary Department to diagnose livestock diseases in the province. These evaluations are an invaluable asset to the local veterinarians to help in determining preventive and treatment strategies for the region's livestock.

The efforts of the Long Knife Brigade, 43rd Med. Det., Texas A&M Univ., Muthanna PRT and Iraqi Department of Veterinary medicine will positively impact livestock in the province and the well-being of its citizens for years to come.