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NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

April 26, 2004
Release Number: 04-04-26


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


MARINES TAKE STEPS TO RETURN FALLUJAH TO IRAQI POLICE CONTROL

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq - In the coming days, Marines in Fallujah will team up with the Iraqi Police Service and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps to conduct joint patrols through the city in a deliberate step toward returning the streets of Fallujah back to Iraqi authority.

This effort will allow Iraqi authorities to implement lawful order throughout the city while maintaining peace and stability for Fallujans, and guarding against foreign elements who seek to destabilize the peace.

The curfew and weapons turn-in programs remain in effect.

Additionally, Marines are again preparing to allow more families to return to their homes in Fallujah. Once security is re-established, millions of dollars in reconstruction projects are available for Fallujah.

Marines in Fallujah met with the city's mayor and awarded contracts to move humanitarian assistance supplies throughout the city. Several hundred tools were stored at the Fallujah Liaison Team building - including shovels, picks and wheelbarrows - which will be used for future street clearing and debris removal projects.

Marines in Ramadi checked on the progress of three of their street improvement projects today. Improvements to road conditions in the city now allow easier travel and eliminate raw sewage from running into the street. Several similar projects there are still ongoing.

Eighty-eight police officers also recently graduated from the Ar Ramadi Police Academy. The new Iraqi police were trained in handcuffing procedures, first aid, communications, building clearing techniques and weapons training. Graduates were issued uniforms, flashlights and pistols.

"It's an honor for us to become policemen and to help make peace for our people and their property," said Iraqi Police Lt. Col. Rafea Muhmoud Mustafa, the class honor graduate.

Marines visited police in Karabilah Sunday to deliver Kevlar helmets and CamelBak hydration systems. Marines and Iraqi police there conducted joint patrols on the first day of work for another recently graduated class of Iraqi police.

The 1st Marine Division's Government Support Team also signed a contract Sunday for an initial $6,400 payment to the Al-yam publishing company for adult literacy program textbooks. The new textbooks will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching programs geared toward adults.

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