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Bayji [Beiji]

The Al-Bayji refinery near Kirkuk, with a production capacity of 290,000-300,000 barrels per day, is one of three major refineries in Iraq. The Al-Durah refinery has a production capacity of 71,000-110,000 barrels per day and the Al-Basrah refinery has a capacity of 140,000 barrels per day. The Daura facility outside Baghdad and the Basra plant were badly damaged early in the 1991 Gulf War, but the refinery at Beiji was not bombed until the final days of the air campaign.

The Bayji Thermal Powerplant is the largest in country and a major contributor to Baghdad's electriciy supply. By late 2003 planning for Bayji's scheduled maintenance outage was complete, and the first unit was turned off on December 1. The plant's five units will be turned off one at a time, and the process is scheduled to be completed in June 2004. At the direction of the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), Bechtel is implementing a number of projects in the Power sector. These include the Daura Power Plant rehabilitation; Bayji Power Plant rehabilitation; construction of three new power plants with 11 individual 40 MW units in Kirkuk, Mussayyib, and South Baghdad; and upgrading water treatment systems at most operating power plants.

Prior to the 1991 Gulf War, Project 555 was reported to be a chemical weapons manufacturing facility located at Bayji [GEOCOORD 3456N04329E]). Other sources reported Project 555 as the as the Project Babylon supergun.

On 03 January 1991 JTF Proven Force conducts two strike packages (96 sorties) against targets in Northern Iraq. The first attack of seventy-one aircraft air aborted due to weather while the second attack of twenty-five sorties successfully attacked Mosul airfield. The USS Virginia, Spruance, and Philadelphia attacked the Bayji oil refinery with six TLAMs in support of JTF Proven Force. On 03 February 1991 JTF Proven Force conducts three strike packages (136 sorties) against the Bayji petroleum facility and troop concentrations.

On 01 February 2003 a joint team of 11 UN inspectors went to the State Company for Fertilizers in Bayji. Inspectors questioned the general manager about changes at the site since 1998, as well as products produced at the site, sources for raw materials, and production plans. UNMOVIC did not mention this inspection in its daily briefing.

On 03 February 2003 Fourteen chemical inspectors searched the Arab Company for Chemical Detergents in Bayji, which is a public/private sector company. Inspectors asked about personnel at the company, as well as changes there since 1998. The company's production sites were surveyed and inspectors took seven samples (type unspecified) from the site. UNMOVIC stated the company is also known as ARADET, adding that it "is a facility for raw materials, which are used to produce detergents." Aerial reconnaissance continued on 3 February over the Bayji Refinery and the State Company for Detergents. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated that the Bayji Refinery and the Arab Company for Chemical Detergents were photographed.

The Bayji refinery, the only significant source of LPG production in Iraq, shutdown on 23 June 2003 for two days due to power outages. In Baghdad, the Daura refinery plant, also reduced its production significantly due to power outages.

With help from Task Force Ironhorse engineers, residents of Bayji finally received cleaner water following a two-month rehabilitation. The Bayji Water Treatment Facility Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony went extremely well on 23 October 2003. Approximately 120,000 folks of the industrial town of Bayji can drink from the 15 million gallons of fresh chlorinated and filtered water being treated at this major facility. Saddam built the facility back in 1984 and the facility deterioriated because nobody maintained it. The 4th ID Engineer section initially assessed the facility, wrote up a statement of work document, then acquired funding approval from the Coalition Provisional Authority in the amount of $471,000. We solicited bids from 4 major Iraqi contracting companies and then signed a contract with the most promising one - Al Thuraya. Al-Thuraya rehabilitated the water treatment plant for the past 2 months.

FOB Stoddard FOB Summerall

Behind the walls of an old British fort here, and in the area around the base, a Pennsylvania Army National Guard unit with roots in the American Revolution is helping Iraq secure its own nationhood - by training, and fighting alongside its soldiers.

Through success, setback and loss, troops of Company A, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry and Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division have shared the frustrations - and rewards - of this mission.

The Iraqi troops use the training they receive in the fight against the insurgents. Almost daily, the Iraqi and American soldiers mount humvees and pick-up trucks and roll out of the gate, departing the base to patrol, man traffic- control points, or check infrastructure like power lines - a new mission recently added to the soldiers' battery of tasks.

Company A began training and performing combat operations with the Iraqi soldiers last February. In May, they certified the Iraqi soldiers in squad-level missions, and now they're training them to take on platoon and company-level operations.

In March, with Coalition Forces support, the Iraqi soldiers pulled off a two-pronged raid, netting both targets - a weapons cache and a known terrorist.

Soldiers of Company C conduct first-aid classes in the old British fort which serves as the Iraqi Army compound at FOB Summerall.

The junior officers and NCOs conduct machine gun training, medical training, leader training, battle drills, and joint operations with their Iraqi counterpart units in hopes of training Iraqi forces enough to be able to take over mission operations. The Iraqi Soldiers were reportedly making steady progress and detained a few criminals and insurgents on their own as of March 2006. However they were still reliant on American soldiers for moral and firepower support.

FOB Tinderbox

FOB Tinderbox has now closed. The facilities at the base were said to have been less than fair. Power outages were common and phone service was unreliable. The food was also known to be bad, especially in comparison to FOB Summerall.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:47:45 ZULU