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Military

Release A051012d

48th Brigade prepares security at polling sites

Multi-National Force-Iraq

RADWINIYAH, Iraq — As Iraqi citizens vote in the Oct. 15 Constitutional Referendum, they’ll do so with a better sense of security, thanks to 48th Brigade Combat Team Soldiers.

One of the brigade’s top priorities is to assist Iraqi security forces in securing the polling sites in neighborhoods around southwest Baghdad. Brigade Soldiers have been busy placing concrete barriers around those sites.

The focus of the barrier movement plan is to limit the disruption to daily activities of the local population, so the major effort of emplacing the barriers is done during non-peak hours in the city.

“We don’t want to interfere with commerce,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Edge, commander of the 148th Support Battalion which is responsible for transporting the concrete barriers to the various polling sites for emplacement around the area of operations. “We want the emplacements to go quickly with the least impact on the civilian population as possible.”

The brigade ordered about 1,400 barriers for the effort. The planning began more than 60 days ago as officials ordered the materials from a concrete plant near Baghdad International Airport.

Iraqi Army Soldiers provided security with an outer cordon while the concrete barriers and concertina wire were put into place by several battalions from 48th BCT.

“No one company or battalion could have accomplished this mission alone,” said Maj. John Davis, operations officer for the 648th Engineer Battalion. “The synchronization and cooperation between all the units allowed the mission to be completed ahead of schedule with a minimum of disruption to the local population.”

With a mostly Sunni population in the 48th’s area of operation, the goal is that everyone will have the opportunity to cast a vote for Iraq’s future.

“If we get something good from [the referendum], it will be better for everyone,” said Hassan Abdulah a local Sunni farmer who was on hand to watch barriers being placed around an elementary school in his neighborhood.

“We need peace and security,” Abdulah said. “They [Coalition Forces] do a good job for us here.”

Within the brigade’s area of operation, there are 24 prospective polling sites which the 48th BCT units have been busy making secure for the referendum vote.

“Our Soldiers recognize that they are not here to influence the election, but they are here to allow the Iraqi people the opportunity to vote,” Edge said.

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THIS STORY HAS ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPHS. TO RECEIVE THE PHOTOS: CONTACT THE TASK FORCE BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS PLANS AND OPERATIONS NCO, SGT. FIRST CLASS DAVID ABRAMS AT: DAVID.ABRAMS@ID3.ARMY.MIL.

 



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