Reopening the Bridge Over the Salty River
Leaders from the 55th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division, local Sheiks and Task Force Thunder, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad participated in a bridge reopening ceremony Jan. 18 in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.
The improvement in security and reduction in sectarian violence made it possible to reopen the bridge which had separated a tribal community. The reopening also returns the area to a sense of normalcy.
Iraqi Col. Rasheed, commander of the 55th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division, discussed how important the bridge over the Salty River is with local shaykhs and how its opening is another step to improving the Mahmudiyah region in Iraq.
â€œThis is one of the good things we are doing in the area. There will be more coming, including water purification and road paving. This will alleviate the suffering of the people,â€ he said.
The Mamour tribe occupies much of the area on both sides of the bridge and was split when the bridge closed. Relatives had to drive many kilometers east or west of the bridge to find another way across. Now, a more direct route is available to visit their families. Children who traveled a long distance to receive their education now only have a short bridge to cross on school days.
â€œThis is one of the biggest things we can do as Coalition Forces to get life back together for the Mamour Tribe,â€ said Capt. Gregory Martens, Company A, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad executive officer.
The bridge was shut down for an extended period of time due to an insurgent attack on Coalition forces.
Rasheed and the shaykhs spoke of how the IA will be responsible for providing security for the bridge and of how improved security will benefit the Iraqis living on both sides of the Salty River. The IA intends to have a system where only those with badges will be authorized to cross over the bridge. Some who stand to benefit from the bridgeâ€™s reopening include those whose families are split by the Salty River, children going to school, and those requiring access to work on the other side of the river.
â€œThe bridge opening today symbolizes the barriers we all work together to break down, each towards a brighter future for Iraq,â€ said Maj. Eric Savickas, 4th Bn., 27th FA Regt., 2nd BCT, 1st AD, MND-B, executive officer.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 10:32 am and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, War on Terror, Iraq, Rebuilding, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.