30 August 2008

Marines Doing Good Work

The hoopla and huge sighs of relief brought on by Senator John SIDNEY McCain's pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate shouldn't keep us from remembering that we still have Marines in Iraq doing good things.The 1st Marine RCT-1 is in Fallujah and turning on the power. See pics and read more here.

FALLUJAH, Iraq – Nearly 10,000 Fallujah homes were restored with electricity access thanks to Marines working closely with the Fallujah City Council to deliver 35 new generators throughout the city.

Civil Affairs Team 2, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, in direct support of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, along with Sheik Hamid Ahmad Hashim al-Alwani, chairman of the FCC, announced the delivery of the 32nd generator during an Iraqi press briefing Aug. 27 at a site in the city where one of the generators has been producing power for the last three months.

“From the time we arrived in January, there was a local demand for generators throughout the city,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Byron Yoshida, team leader, Civil Affairs Team 2. “Initially, the project was sub-divided by precincts and eventually it became a city-wide project of providing the 35 generators.”

In early March, an informal Iraqi committee was formed and locations for the generators were proposed to Marines with Team 2. Since then, Team 2 has worked closely with contractors to deliver the units. Each generator will provide anywhere from 100 to 300 homes with electricity within a 300 meter radius. Yoshida said he anticipates having all of the generators delivered in time for the end of Ramadan celebrations, which occur Oct. 1.

While some neighborhoods receive power from privately-owned generators, the new units are available to all residents for minimal fees and are managed by trained Iraqi operators.

“We trained and certified operators who are responsible for keeping residents connected and keeping the generator operating using preventive maintenance,” Yoshida said. “The operators are obligated to ensuring the generators provide a minimum of seven hours of power on a daily basis to offset the shortage of national power.”

Sheik Hamid said he is grateful the generators arrived in time for the hotter portion of the summer and for Ramadan, but noted they are a short-term fix for a larger
problem. The city had previously used hydroelectric power produced by the
Haditha Dam, which has not been in full operation for several years due to neglect by the Saddam regime.

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