By Spc. Brian Johnson 101st Eng. Bn. UPAR, 16th Eng. Bde., USD-CJanuary 18, 2010
BAGHDAD- Engineer Soldiers of 1434th Engineer Company are constructing a new joint operations center and planning annex at Contingency Operating Station Carver to provide better communication and coordination capabilities between U.S. Forces and the Iraqi Army.
As the role of the U.S. forces in Iraq is diminished and the Iraqi Army takes the lead, the construction of a joint operations center is considered vital by Army leaders to the success of joint security missions.
1st Lt. Brian Civille, of Owosso, Mi., the construction officer-in-charge of the site, says that these new facilities will meet a number of needs.
"The two buildings, being built next to each other, will allow for smoother planning, facilitation and coordination of joint operations between the U.S. and Iraqi Soldiers," said Civille.
Staff Sgt. Todd Thomas, from Traverse City, Mi., has been amazed with the project's success.
"The command group here has been giving Soldiers a chance to shine and they have been highly motivated because of it," said Thomas. "We don't have to tell them anything; they just do it."
None of the current structures at COS Carver will meet the future needs of the U.S. and Iraqi forces. The construction is expected to fix that and will include a large, shared space to conduct joint operations. According to Civille, the U.S. forces are not the only ones who will benefit from the expansion project.
"As the transition of forces in Iraq continues, the Iraqis will begin to work more out of Carver," said Civille. "The base will become more of a focus point for joint U.S.-Iraqi missions. When the U.S. forces eventually leave the base, the Iraqis will be able to run all of their missions from the facilities that were constructed there."
The JOC and planning annex are scheduled to open and begin operations in early February.