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Military

New Coalition headquarters to open in Tikrit

By Lt. Col. Stan Heath

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 15, 2005) – A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place this past weekend at Forward Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq, for the largest structure built to date for Coalition forces.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, commanding general, 42nd Infantry Division, participated in the ribbon-cutting for “D Main” the future headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

The 101st Airborne Division is scheduled to relieve the 42nd Infantry Division before the end of the year. The new facility will consist of 51,000 square feet of division headquarters for elements of the “Screaming Eagles” slated to arrive in the fall.

“The original concept for the construction of the facility was based on the 1st Cavalry “D Main”’ at Camp Victory in Baghdad,” said C. J. McCann, Tikrit resident engineer. “The construction contract was awarded as a design/build task order to First Kuwaiti Contracting on Sept. 30, 2004 for $6.9 million.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region North district also had construction oversight of the 6,000-square-foot Secured Compartmentalized Information Facilities.

“Both the D Main and the SCIF were built to provide open bay and dedicated office spaces,” McCann said. “The headquarters also provides a large auditorium we call the ‘pit’ and command and staff offices on the second floor. The base project for GRN included the building and the SCIF. Currently, additional funds are being sought for an entrance road, parking areas, service roads, helicopter-pads, and communications antenna towers.”

FOB Speicher is named after Lt. Cdr. Michael S. Speicher, an F-18 fighter pilot who was shot down over Iraq the opening night of the 1991 Gulf War.

(Editor’s note: Lt. Col. Stan Heath is the public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division.)



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