By Mr. Scott D Harris (USACE)February 11, 2010
A new Iraqi army post built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially opened its doors Feb. 9, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Tikrit. Construction on the facility, aptly named "Location Command," began in an open field near Tikrit in June of 2008.
Today, the sprawling facility can easily accommodate an entire battalion of Iraqi soldiers. More than 1,000 Iraqi of them will soon occupy new officer and enlisted barracks, with easy access to a new dining facility, a fuel point and other support structures needed to sustain a full battalion.
"This project is one of the most important projects ever completed in Tikrit and Salah Ad Din Province, and will be a real asset for all of our units in the northern region," said Kassim Al Timimee, representing the Iraqi Department of Defense. "It will undoubtedly contribute directly to security and stability in the province and the region. We appreciate and thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their efforts in the building of this important camp."
The new military facility will provide a base from which Iraqi soldiers can operate to ensure the future the security of Iraq. The compound includes 75 buildings: officer, enlisted and noncommissioned officer barracks; a dining facility, fire station and medical clinic; fuel storage and distribution and its own power distribution facilities.
"The success of this project was due in large part to the efforts of Abkarr Corporation, the military advisory team members, our Iraqi partners, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers" said Brig. Gen. Kendall P. Cox, director of U.S. Forces-Iraq J7. "It is indicative of the continuing effort to ensure partnering between our two countries and symbolizes the commitment to build a future of excellence."
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Ahmed Al Samarrayee, governor of Salah Ad Din, Brig. Gen. Ali Jassim, commander of the Iraqi Army's 4th Brigade, 6th Army Division, Ahmed Al Salloum, director of Abkarr Corporation, Kassim Al Timimee, representing the Iraqi Department of Defense, Brig. Gen. Kendall P. Cox, director of U.S. Forces - Iraq J7, Col. Dan Anninos, commander of the USACE Gulf Region District and Brig. Gen. Tariq Al Joubori, commander of the new facility.
Total contract value for the project was $38 million, funded by the Iraq Security Forces Fund. The contractor for the project was Abkarr Corporation, with a workforce that was 100 percent Iraqi from start to finish.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq has completed thousands of reconstruction projects in partnership with the U.S. Government and the Government of Iraq. Since 2004, USACE has completed 5,257 projects throughout Iraq valued at more than $9.1 billion, and has more than 350 projects ongoing. The overall reconstruction effort in Iraq currently provides jobs for more than 20,000 Iraqis.