By Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, MND-B PAOMarch 17, 2009
BAGHDAD - Four public works sub-stations (PWSS) funded by Coalition forces were turned over to the Government of Iraq March 16, during a ceremony in the Yarmouk neighborhood of the Mansour district in Baghdad.
"This is a great day in Baghdad," said Naeem Abaob al-Kaabi, deputy mayor of Baghdad. "The main purpose is to serve the citizens of this country."
About 40 public works vehicles, such as street sweepers, dump trucks, trash trucks and loaders were transferred along with the four PWSS throughout the western Baghdad district, added al-Kaabi.
Not only did the CF help fund the PWSS and equip them with vehicles, they helped to provide jobs for the local communities, added al-Kaabi.
"The population sees their government improving their quality of life," said Lt. Col. John Richardson IV, commander, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. "This is equipment they use day-to-day across the city to keep the trash and sewage at a manageable level to allow the population to enjoy a high quality of life."
All four of the PWSS in the Mansour district are co-located with a Joint Security Station, ensuring protection and a close working relationship between Iraqi Security Forces and CF, added Richardson.
"This will be a big step forward," said 1st Lt. Eric Suddarth, 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regt., from Westfield, Ind. "This is also a great example of the Iraqi people being persistent and showing that great things can happen for the community."
From the platoon leader on the ground to the deputy mayor of Baghdad, they can see that the future is bright for these hard-working locals, and now it will be a bit cleaner too.
"The Iraqis are optimistic and very clear-eyed and happy for the future," added al-Kaabi while sub-station workers sang, beat drums and danced at the ceremony.
"Though it is not perfect, they see progress," said Richardson. "It's a day of pride because they are taking the full lead."