The number of detainees in Task Force 134 custody dropped below 9,000 during a detainee transfer between Coalition forces and the Government of Iraq here, Aug. 27.
As a result of the 107-person transfer, the detainee population in Iraq stands at 8,947 â€“ the lowest number in U.S. custody since March 2005.
In accordance with the Security Agreement, detainee transfers between CF and the GoI must be conducted with arrest warrants or detention orders. If detainees do not have arrest warrants or detention orders, they must be released.
â€œWe work very closely with the Iraqi government to ensure releases and transfers are conducted in a safe and orderly manner,â€ said Capt. Brad Kimberly, Task Force 134 spokesman. â€œIn compliance with the Security Agreement, we transferred these detainees to the GoI after receiving valid warrants or detention orders.â€
Every detaineeâ€™s file is thoroughly reviewed by CF and the GoI to determine if a warrant should be issued, he said. Detainees whose investigations do not produce a warrant are eligible for release according to the detaineeâ€™s threat level.
Of the 8,947 detainees in U.S. custody, 3,572 are held at Camp Cropper, 4,585 are held at Camp Taji, and 790 are held at Camp Bucca.
Task Force 134 is in the process of transferring the Bucca Theater Internment Facility detainee population prior to the facilityâ€™s closing, which is scheduled for September. Detainees currently held at Camp Bucca will be transferred to either Camp Cropper or Camp Taji.
Task Force 134 releases approximately 750 detainees from its detention facilities each month. In addition, nearly 250 transfers to the GoI are completed per month.
Since January, 1,179 detainees have been transferred to the GoI with a valid warrant or detention order, and 5,236 have been released.
Posts Tagged ‘government of iraq’
The promise of a prosperous future for Iraq took one step closer to becoming a reality as the Sarafiyah Bridge linking the Rusafa and Karkh districts of Baghdad was reopened May 27 after being rebuilt.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was present for the opening event, which featured live music, several speeches and a ribbon cutting on the bridge’s road way.
The significance of the event was not limited only to the result of the bridges opening, but also in how it came to be as it was the Government of Iraq, who took the initiative to conduct the reconstruction.
“The reason I think this event was significant today is because it really shows the resilience of the GoI and their ability to repair this bridge, which was destroyed by an insurgent act, and to repair it and continue on with the rebuilding of Iraq and the betterment of Iraq,” said Maj. Frank Garcia, a Carson City, Nev., native, who serves as the public affairs officer for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad, which operates primarily out of the area where the bridge is located.
Now that the Sarafiyah Bridge is open, traffic can flow freely across. The local economy is expected to receive a boost since the flow of goods and services will be much easier, added Garcia.
“We didn’t have a direct role in this; it was Iraqi-led, Iraqi-designed, and there were very few Coalition members there,” Garcia said.
In addition to tangible, economic gains offered by the re-opening of the bridge, the ceremony also marked a more symbolic meaning.
“One side is Shi’a and the other side is Sunni, and there were very good relationships between them. The terrorists tried to send a message: ‘We would like to cut the communication lines between these two main groups in Iraq;’ but luckily, they didn’t manage to do that,” said Mohammed Asadi, a Baghdad native, who works as a media advisor for 2nd BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
“And they send the message back: ‘Here we are, and we are together,’” he added.
The Sarafiyah Bridge, one of several bridges that cross the Tigris River in the Iraqi capital, was destroyed in a vehicle-borne improvised-explosive device attack April 12, 2007, that killed 10 Iraqis and injured at least 26 others.
By Sgt. Jerome Bishop
Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad PAO
Businesses and residences of southwest Baghdad will soon benefit from the recent completion of electricity transmission lines and the energizing of a major substation today.
The al-Rasheed 400kV substation was energized May 28, 2008 on the 400kV electrical grid only a few days after the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity completed the hook up of a new 11 kilometer 400kV transmission line to the station.
â€œWhile this is not a generation station, it will however increase reliability of power for all people in southwest Baghdad,â€ said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Johnson, Gulf Region Division government lead for electricity transmission and distribution projects in Iraq. â€œIt will connect them directly to the 400kV grid and it is a much more reliable, much more stable source of power than what they are used to having.â€
Johnson said the energizing of the substation is a tremendous example of partnership.
â€œI think that itâ€™s awesome,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a success story of interaction between the Government of Iraqâ€™s Ministry of Electricity and the Army Corps of Engineers where the two sides work together and come to a common point at the point in time when they are supposed to. I think it is one of the success stories of the reconstruction of Iraq.â€
Johnson explained that a substation converts electricity from one voltage level to another. In the case of the al Rasheed 400kV substation, modern Gas Insulated Switchgear in the facility protects the new transmission lines while new transformers â€œstep downâ€ the 400 kV power from the transmission lines to 132 kV for distribution to southwest Baghdad. In those neighborhoods power is stepped down further by transformers to the consumer level of 220 volts, 50 amperes.
Johnson said reliability, from the perspective of the consumer, is having power when you expect to have power, but that service in Iraq will remain well below the western standard of 24 hours of power a day for several more years. Only lines feeding essential services such as hospitals, police stations and water and sewage facilities, are energized around the clock due to limited generation capacity.
â€œWhile we are not able to bridge the difference in [generation] capacity and demandâ€¦we can at least guarantee them that 40-50 percent of their day they will have power, rather than the 10 or 20 percent that they are having now,â€ he said.
Across Iraq, the construction of new, dependable electricity transmission and distribution lines, substations and transformers goes hand in hand with increasing electricity generation in gradually improving the extremely underfunded, antiquated electric grid.
â€œThis is a brand new substation with brand new transmission lines coming out of itâ€¦this will be an increase in capacity for transmission of power to their homes, and on a day to day basis they will see more electricity for longer periods,â€ Johnson said.
Maj. Timothy Reed, Civil Affairs Officer for the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division operating in southwest Baghdad, said Soldiers on the street do see an impact after completion of reconstruction projects. â€œThe big thing is people are more satisfied when things get done, when they have more electricity they are more welcoming. Youâ€™ll see more people come out and greet you,â€ Reed said. â€œItâ€™s always a great time to go out and meet the people and shake the hands. Because you know you are doing the right thing, they know you are doing the right thing. They are more open to you. They are more willing to give you more tips when you show that you provide for them, they will provide for you.â€
Work on the almost $38 million Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund project began April 15, 2006. Although a new substation, the project was actually a rebuild of a previous effort.
Construction of the substation originally known as Baghdad Central 400kV substation began under the Oil for Food program in 2001 but was abandoned in 2003 when approximately 80 percent complete.
In the aftermath of the downfall of Saddam Husseinâ€™s regime, the substation suffered heavy looting and all moveable and readily re-usable equipment was stolen. The buildings also suffered extensive damage and most low voltage and control cables were stripped. All protection and all 400 kV and 132kV control cubicle panels were damaged beyond repair, according to reports.
Starting essentially from scratch, the project installed the 400kV Gas Insulated Switchgear and 400kV Air Insulated Switchgear for four overhead line bays and four 250MVA transformer bays that are configured as a dozen – 400/132kV 83MVA single phase auto transformers and an additional spare.
Also included in the project was the 132kV Gas Insulated Switchgear rehabilitation, replacement of the 11kV switchgear, low voltage switchgear, low voltage cables and control cables; and refurbishment of all buildings and building services for the facility.
by Grant Sattler
Gulf Region Division
“Sometimes, the picture you take is how you feel inside,” said Iraqi Col. Falah Hasan Khadhim, a brigade deputy commander in the Iraqi special operations forces, during the May 8 graduation ceremony.
“It could be a picture of nature or the scene of a battlefield. The camera has more effect than the gun. Our duty is to our country,” he continued. “You are now fighting with two weapons: by your camera and by your gun.â€
Iraqi security forces are taking â€œshootingâ€ to a new level as they learn to use cameras in their quest to bring security and stability to their country.
Over the past six months, some Iraqi special weapons and tactics teams and Iraqi special operations forces have been learning how to combat terrorism and insurgency through the use of imagery.
U.S. Army Maj. Joseph Peterson, civil-military operations officer of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula here, is a proponent of a new program to teach camera skills to Iraqi security forces.
“An active public communications outreach program provides a means for the government of Iraq’s security forces to maintain credibility and legitimacy,” Peterson said. “And, accurate and timely imagery is one important part of any effective communications program.”
The first step in providing imagery to the Iraqi citizens is to teach the Iraqi security forces how to use a camera while on different types of operations.
U.S. Army Sgt. McCoy developed a combat camera course for the Iraqis and served as its first instructor. He adapted the 10-month curriculum he learned from the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md., and condensed it to a two-week program that can be used to teach Iraqi troops in the field.
McCoy recalled some of the challenges his students had with the camera and computer equipment in the beginning of the class. He explained that they were not very confident in their abilities at the beginning, but by the end of the course, they knew just what to do.
“They went from looking at a camera and wondering, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ to holding the camera with confidence and saying, ‘Let me show you what I can do with this,’” McCoy said. “To me, the overall knowledge they gained was impressive for 10 days.”
McCoy’s first class was with a Hillah special weapons and tactics unit, one of the more advanced SWAT units in the country. The unit is at a stage where its combat skills are advanced enough to introduce this new combat camera element to its missions, McCoy said.
Through the course, the students learned police photography functions, such as crime-scene photography, and how to do media outreach by taking video during missions and providing that video to the local media.
Three other SWAT units have completed the combat camera course and now are interfacing with the community through their new media-outreach capabilities.
McCoy added military elements of photography such as operational security, handling classified information and combat documentary photography to the basic elements of the course. He also provided instruction in teaching techniques and materials. As a result, one student instructed the first Iraqi-taught combat camera course, graduating seven members May 6.
“They were eager to learn everything they possibly could. They were really focused, [and they] paid attention,â€ McCoy said. Seeing some of the work that other Iraqi special operations forces members had done helped motivate them, he added.
McCoy said he liked what he saw when the Iraqis applied their training during a real mission. “They did an outstanding job on their first mission,” he said.
The first mission with combat camera-trained personnel was the liberation of the southern city of Basra in March. As the troops pushed through the city, a newly trained Iraqi combat cameraman documented every move the special operations forces made.
The Government of Iraq is currently funding a canal-cleaning project in the Jurf as Sakhr and Ruwiyah areas, approximately 55 kilometers south of Baghdad.
Before the project began, the canal was congested with reeds, mud and trash. Unable to flow freely throughout the area, the stagnant water was a health hazard, said Sgt. 1st Class Chad Touchet, a platoon sergeant with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The canal connects to the Euphrates River and is a major source of water for citizens living in Jurf as Sakhr and Ruwiyah. Residents depend heavily on this source of water to support agriculture throughout the area, said the native of Abbeville, La. Once the canal is clean, water will be more accessible even further away from the river.
â€œHopefully this project will allow for an enhanced crop harvest season,â€ Touchet said, adding more productive crops will greatly boost the economy as a major source of income.
Saad Abeed, from Musayyib, is the contractor for this project. His crew began cleaning the canal May 8, and it may take up to 22 days to complete. In the meantime, Touchet said, residents are pleased to see progress made on the project.
By 2nd Lt. Joshua Fink, 3-7th Inf. Regt., 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. PAO