By MSG Carl MarJanuary 28, 2009
COB ADDER, Iraq - Shaykh Tayseer Mohammed Al-Marshad of the Al Ghizi tribe invited Col. Robert Schmitt, 287th Sustainment Brigade commander, and Lt. Col. David Whaling, 157th Combat Services Support Battalion, to a formal luncheon at his Al Nasiriyah compound on Jan. 21.
It was the first formal meeting between the two parties and Al-Marshad used the opportunity to ask for coalition forces partnership on civil affairs projects in his area of Dhi Qar province.
Other attendees were the head of Ur city council, Fahad Raysan, Al Batha District Councilman Mohammed Tayieh, 287th Sust. Bde. Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Newton and 157th CSSB Command Sgt. Maj. Orlando Santiago and Lt. Col. Clint Moyer, Chief of 287th Sust. Bde. Civilian Military Operations.
One of the top priorities was a new pump station house. "The present structure is old and beyond repair. The pump and generator are exposed to the weather, and they stop working often. We would like your help in building a new house which would cover the equipment," Al-Marshad said.
According to Schmitt the pump system "is very important to the 287th Sust. Bde., as it currently provides water to the Coalition forces located on Camp Adder."
Councilmen Raysan and Tayieh thanked the Sustainers for their continued CMO support of several schools in their district, but identified several more which have not been helped before. "These schools need supplies for the students, computers for the classrooms and repairs to the buildings. Perhaps you can help them too," asked Raysan.
"There is an orphanage located in my district, not far from my town. It has 40 to 45 children who need help with everything -- school supplies, clothes, pay for teachers," Tayieh said, even as everyone was already nodding in agreement.
Al-Marshad showed his appreciation to the Sustainers by presenting each one with a "kaffiyeh" (scarf) and "agal" (plaited cord) -- the traditional male Iraqi headdress -- and asked that they might favor him to wear it at their next meeting.
"It was a great dinner, a great meeting," said Schmitt. "We came away with a lot of positive opportunities to assist the Iraqis in the future."
The Kansas based 287th Sust. Bde., an Army National Guard unit with headquarters in Wichita, recently arrived to take over sustainment operations in southern Iraq.
PHOTOS AND STORY BY MASTER SGT. CARL MAR, 287TH SB PUBLIC AFFAIRS.FOR QUERIES, CONTACT 3D SUSTAINMENT COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT: ESCPAO@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL.
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