First Lt. Jason Potter, a civil military operations officer with Battery A, 3-320th FA, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), goes over plans for the Omah al-Mukhtar Girls’ School in the Qadasiyah Apartments with the project contractor April 17. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher McKenna)
FOB MAHMUDIYAH (April 20, 2008) — In conjunction with Operation Marne Piledriver, two Mahmudiyah schools are being refurbished with the help of U.S. Soldiers.
The Red Knight Rakkasans of 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), coordinated the funding needed to improve the schools.
The Uthman School in High al-Jaza’ir and the Omah al-Mukhtar Girls’ School in the Qadasiyah Apartments were selected for refurbishment.
“These are the schools identified by the Iraqi Ministry of Education and the Mayor of Mahmudiyah as most in need for improvements,” said Capt. David Howald, Commander’s Emergency Response Program project manager for 3-320th FA.
Improving the schools shows that education has once again become a priority for the people in the area, said Capt. Benjamin Torpy, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3-320th FA.
Renovations are expected to be complete within two months and will include fresh paint jobs, refurbished classrooms, new desks, windows and exterior walls to provide more space in each classroom. The changes will eliminate overcrowding that led to unsanitary conditions for students and teachers.
“The people involved with the schools are very excited about the new opportunities in education for the younger generation of Iraqis in the area,” Torpy said.
Marne Piledriver is an Iraqi Army-led operation largely focused on capacity-building projects throughout the Rakkasans’ operating environment.