Saddam Hussein's office was located in the domed Presidential Palace, or Republican Palace, which overlooks the Tigris River. The palace, measuring some 1.7 square miles according to the UN, was surrounded by Republican Guard camps and apartment blocks for some of Hussein's supporters. Renovation to the Palace in the late 1990s tripled the size of the complex.
This site in Baghdad was visited on 1 and 2 April 1998. In addition to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Oil and the Secretary to the President, who were regularly present at all sites, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Information were also present. The aerial survey by helicopter was postponed to 2 April 1998, when the helicopter flew for 45 minutes with aerial photography being conducted. Two diplomats were present in the helicopter. The Iraqi authorities expressed concerns over flights above populated areas, which they claimed had been avoided in the past, and questioned the functional need for aerial photography when U2 imagery was available. In finally agreeing to the flight they maintained this was not to be cited as a precedent. The experts conducted what they considered to be a baseline survey of the site with the cooperation of the Iraqi authorities. Issues concerning the entry into family living quarters occupied by the staff of the Palace and other matters were quickly resolved either at the field level or through the intervention of higher authorities. Discrepancies between the earlier survey and ground evidence were settled with the use of GPS equipment. Where documents were available, a random check was conducted smoothly. Spot checking of computers was undertaken with the cooperation of the Iraqi authorities.
Bremer had his headquarters inside the old Republican Palace, housing an American bureaucracy with over 1,000 American staffers.
In early December 2003 Iraqi contractors removed the "Saddam Hussein" heads from the Presidential Palace.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Iraq Provisional Command (IPC) is an Army engineering organization coordinating with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to consolidate all field engineer support teams (FESTs), military line-units, and other Army engineering efforts under one single entity. Located in the "green zone" on the grounds near the Republican Palace, the IPC operates out of "Essayons Base". The Iraq Provisional Command oversees more than 100 people, and works with Bechtal, a San Francisco construction company that won the first rebuilding contract, a $680 million project.
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