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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

American Forces Press Service

Helping Iraq Rebuild, One Project at a Time

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2003 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has stated that every day conditions in Iraq are getting a bit better.

They are not getting better by themselves, but are doing so through thousands of small acts by coalition personnel assisting the Iraqi population. The aid runs the gamut from issuing measles vaccinations to paving roads.

Coalition personnel do this in addition to providing security in the country and continuing the search for the former regime's weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Central Command issues a daily list of the efforts coalition forces make to aid Iraq's recovery. Here are just a few recent examples:

Troops conducted the 10th "Task Force Neighborhood" mission in the Al Rashid District of Baghdad with the assistance of 50 hired Iraqis. These "task forces" go into neighborhoods and take care of small projects. For example, in Al Rashid the group repaired four doors at a girls' middle school. They rewired and connected electrical power to the district council building and hauled away 280 tons of rubble from behind the building.

Medics treated three Iraqis for minor ailments and provided information for further care. Dentists provided dental treatment to 39 patients.

Explosive ordnance disposal personnel removed 11 rocket- propelled grenade rounds from a market place, ammunition and weapons from two other sites, and verified clearance of a reported cache near a school.

There was another task force doing similar missions in Mosul, and previous days saw other task forces working in locations such as Baqubah, Makhmar and other locations.

Coalition officials hired between 350 and 400 Iraqis to work at Baghdad International Airport with the purpose of resuming commercial flights sometime in the next month.

Coalition officials met with local sheikhs and community leaders in a number of areas to discuss the political way ahead for Iraq. In Ar Ramadi, coalition personnel participated in a governor's town meeting to discuss unemployed former Iraqi military in the area and plans to provide jobs in the area.

Coalition personnel assisted with fuel distribution and in getting propane - the main cooking fuel - to the Iraqi people.

Coalition personnel continued $40 emergency payments to Iraqi pensioners in Mosul. Other coalition personnel helped to ensure that food distribution through the U.N. World Food Program got to distribution agents in northern Iraq.

Coalition engineers helped Iraqi engineers complete repairs of dams north of Ar Ramadi.

Coalition soldiers and Marines transported and consolidated 70 truckloads (over 6,800 tons) of captured Iraqi munitions outside of Baghdad, and destroyed another 39 tons of captured Iraqi ammunition.

In the south, coalition personnel assisted the Red Crescent in the planning for the repair and upgrade of the water pumping stations in Ash Shatrah. They also assisted in the removal of four low-lift pumps from an obsolete irrigation pumping station to use for future rehabilitation projects at other locations.

In Hillah, coalition personnel are monitoring construction work at the Hammurabi, Al Jannan and Mahawil fire stations. In Ad-Diwaniyah province, coalition personnel assisted in assessing the fire stations, rescue vehicles and other equipment.

Engineers in the south graded two local soccer fields and filled in two old fighting positions.

Medics administered 1,200 measles vaccinations to children in Kirkuk.

These are just a few actions and projects that coalition personnel have been doing. And these small - and sometimes not so small - projects add to the larger picture of rebuilding Iraq for the Iraqi people.

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