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CENTCOM

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

May 13, 2004
Release Number: 04-05-29


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CIVIL AFFAIRS SOLDIERS IMPROVE LOCAL QUALITY OF LIFE

BALAD, Iraq - Army civil affairs soldiers assessed the progress of five local school projects here Saturday.

Col. Nicholas Zoeller, the 13th Corps Support Command assistant chief of staff for civil affairs, led the inspection tour to determine if the locally hired contractors were on schedule with the badly needed improvements.

"The key here in Iraq is the economy and reconstruction," Zoeller said, describing the progress being made on reconstruction. "We want to do this as quickly as possible. But we also want to create something that lasts so that when we go, the Iraqi people can start helping themselves again."

Before the U.S.-funded effort, many local schools lacked even the basic environment for learning to take place. Among the many improvements are running water, sanitary bathroom facilities, structural work and school supplies.

Since arriving in January, the 13th COSCOM has spent $658,000 reconstructing more than 20 schools in nearby communities.

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