By 1st Lt. Ray Ragan (123rd MPAD)January 1, 2009
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - In a step forward for Iraqi civil capacity, the Iraqi Transportation Network made history on 20 Dec., as it delivered 14 up-armored humvees to Camp Taji, Iraq.
ITN is an all-Iraqi consortium of tribally owned trucking companies that moves cargo across Iraq. ITN completed more than 3,700 missions since May 2, 2008 without incident or loss of cargo. This delivery of M1114 humvees allowed the ITN prove it is ready to start handling other types of cargo essential to the sustainment of Iraq and Coalition forces.
One of the planners for the event, Capt. Carey W. Menifee, logistics planner, 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) described the importance of the ITN as, "our work here is deeply grounded in expanding Iraqi civil capacity, in particular, the birth of the Iraqi Transportation Network."
"This is the first time that Iraq has had a private sector trucking industry," explains Menifee.
The drivers delivered 14 American humvees from Victory Base Complex, near Baghdad to the Redistribution Property Accountability Team at Camp Taji, Iraq, approximately a 30-mile movement.
"[The] M1114s are actually up-armored humvees and for this mission, these M1114s are actually being transferred over to the Government of Iraq," said Menifee.
The ITN's successful mission means more than just proving it is ready to handle these and other types of cargo. This historic delivery of cargo itself has an important role in the progress and reconstruction of Iraq.
Menifee explained what would happen next with the humvees, "a lot of these M1114s will be used by the national police, regional police, and also by the Government of Iraq's security forces."
The ITN's continued success allows Iraqis to take ownership in their transportation networks and future. The ITN also promises jobs to Iraqis, while allowing Coalition forces to gradually transition more and more transportation and cargo missions to their Iraqi partners.
"If Americans could come and see the progress that has been made here in Iraq they would be overwhelmed," concludes Menifee.