By Spc. Eric KenneyJune 30, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE BRASSFIELD-MORA, SAMARRA, Iraq - U.S. Forces met with a Salah ad-Din provincial director general June 20 to discuss the transfer of Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora back to the citizens of Iraq.
FOB Brassfield-Mora, known by local Iraqis as the 'Silo,' will be transitioned from U.S. forces back to the citizens of Samarra. The meeting between Bahaa Naja Ali, the director general of seeds and grains, and Lt. Col. Sam Whitehurst, commander, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, was the first step forward.
The landmark meeting helped to begin planning the removal of U.S. Forces from the Silo.
"It is important that the (next) unit realizes that they need to be out of the Silo by early 2010. The issue is very important to agriculture in Samarra," said Lt. Col. David Snodgrass, deputy commanding officer, 3rd Inf. Bde Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div.
Snodgrass attended the meeting to get information for the brigade to plan the future location for the battalion there, and to assist in the transition. Promoting agricultural development is one of the brigade's main efforts and returning a major grain storage area back to the Iraqi government will greatly assist local farmers.
The goal is to turn over the entire base, but this won't happen overnight. Parts of the base will be sectioned off by T-wall barriers and returned to the city of Samarra to begin reconstruction of the grain storage areas.
One of the first areas to be turned over consists of three buildings and a scale that remains from when the silo was operational.
"This place is in a key location for local farmers to turn in their grains," said Bahaa, explaining the impact the return of the silo will have on local agriculture. The Samarra silo is one of the main storage areas for wheat and other grains harvested in the province.