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Leaders celebrate water distribution

By Pfc. Evan Loyd , 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

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Capt. Benjamin Neasse (from left) celebrates raises a toast with a local contractor and Dean Michael, a bilingual bicultural adviser, to the completion of a water distribution system in the Muhmudiyah Qada Nov. 4
Capt. Benjamin Neasse (from left) celebrates raises a toast with a local contractor and Dean Michael, a bilingual bicultural adviser, to the completion of a water distribution system in the Muhmudiyah Qada Nov. 4

Nov. 7, 2008 — CAMP STRIKER, Iraq (Nov. 6, 2008) – Local sheikhs, Iraqi army and Coalition Soldiers feasted in celebration of a water distribution system now complete in the Mahmudiyah Qada Nov. 4.

“Before this system, some people had no water besides the dirty canal water,” said Sheikh Kagoob Joad al-Merce. “Now many of those people have clean drinking water for the first time in their lives.”

Six months ago, coalition forces helped to complete a water treatment plant for the region. The treatment plant could only supply a small amount of water to surrounding area.

Dean Michael, from Farmingdale, Mich., a bilingual bicultural adviser with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division developed underground water distribution pipe system that enables clean drinking water from the treatment plant. This process provides water to more than 30,000 Iraqi citizens.

The project was funded through the Iraqi Commander’s Emergency Relief Program. Coalition and Iraqi security forces partnered to provide security during construction.

“It is good to see the people getting what they need, and I look forward to working with the coalition forces on future projects to improve the Qada,” said Col. Muhammad, commander of the Iraqi army’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Brigade.

This project clearly emphasized to the local citizens the cooperative relationship between the coalition and the government of Iraq.

“I am glad I could see this finished. It’s great to see how many people we have helped,” said Capt. Benjamin Neasse, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., civil affairs officer of the 3rd Battalion 320th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “This is what I came to Iraq to do.”