By By Spc. Jazz Burney,3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry DivisionJuly 3, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq - Seated around a conference table in the United States Army Corps of Engineers regional headquarters here, the Salah ad-Din Province Deputy Governor met U.S. forces and USACE engineers to strengthen their working relationship and discuss upcoming projects to improve the lives of the people of the province, June 29.
Thanks to the vastly improved security situation in the province, the new provincial government is able to shift focus from security to civil reconstruction projects that will benefit a large percentage of the population.
"This (meeting) was an opportunity to open a channel of communication between us for the benefit of Salah ad-Din," said Ahmed Abed al-Jabar, the first deputy governor of Salah ad-Din province.
He expressed his happiness at the meeting, where he received a briefing on past, ongoing and future projects for the province.
"We will have better results at the start of our projects due to the additional insight the Iraqi personnel bring to the table," said Glenn Myrick, resident engineer, USACE.
The goal is to strengthen engineering relationships between the project and U.S. forces to incorporate more frequent communication during the project lifecycle, not just at the start and finish of a project. Myrick said this would give the provincial leaders more confidence that the projects are being handled correctly.
"I know that having Iraqi leaders' input is essential because they know the terrain of Iraq and have adapted to the environment," said Capt. Justin King, the commander's emergency response program manager, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
"Having local civil engineers on the ground talking to our civil engineers is a sure way for detailed information to be conveyed in a correct manner," he added.
At the end of the meeting, Myrick expressed optimism at the direction the new leadership of Salah ad-Din is taking for its citizens.
The meeting "Shows that he is committed to taking the necessary actions in order to build a better Iraq for his fellow Iraqis," said Myrick.