Scoring a refreshing blow against impending sweltering summer temperatures, Al Jadida officials decided to get their feet wet and dive headfirst into meeting the needs of the local populace.
A nearly three-month project to renovate Baghdad Al Jadida Pool Complex was officially complete when the swimming pool reopened to the public June 7.
A mixture of area residents, local Iraqi officials and religious leaders, and representatives of Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdadâ€™s 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), attended the event to see if the grand opening would make a big splash. All indications are it did.
â€œIt was an excellent ceremony, and the sheikhs (are) very appreciative of all the effort that went into the renovation of the pool and the ceremony,â€ said Sayyid Abdul Hadi al Jazairy, a prominent Imam from Baghdad al Jadida. â€œWe hope for continued positive events in the future.â€
In a joint effort between Government of Iraq officials and Patriot Brigade leaders from 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., the existing Baghdad Al Jadida pool site was identified as one of four pools in Baghdad to renovate and put into operation for the summer months, explained Maj. Jeffrey Smith, Patriot Brigade civil-military operations officer in charge.
â€œThe renovation of the pool with Commanders Emergency Relief Program funds assists the government of Iraq in a return to normalcy for the civilian populace and, as a joint effort, became a major non-lethal offensive,â€ said Smith. â€œThe brigadeâ€™s objective is to ensure all remember and continue to look out for the kids of Baghdad: the future of Iraq.â€
The purpose of the CERP-funded project is to support Iraqi efforts to generate tangible signs of normalcy while initiating training and employment opportunities for Iraqis, emphasized Smith. Patriot Brigade leaders nominated pools within their operational environment to be refurbished based on justifying why the pools would provide the greatest benefit to their neighborhoods. The brigade coordinated with three political districtâ€™s beladiyahs, directors general, neighborhood councils and district councils in selecting and nominating pools, explained Smith.
The project began March 19. Renovations included replacing a broken diving board, painting the exterior wall, repairing and maintaining plumbing, cleaning bathroom facilities, demolishing buildings and creating a parking area. Officials spent more than $375,000 and employed 45 locally contracted workers during the project.
The brigade continues to coordinate efforts with the GoI to get pools operational and is working on refurbishing two more pools, said Smith.
â€œOur number one priority is security,â€ he stated, â€œand an operational pool will contribute to visible signs of normalcy for everyone.â€
Posts Tagged ‘normalcy’
Operation Sawlat al-Fursan, or Charge of the Knights, lead by the 1st Iraqi Army Division, a battalion from the 14th IA Division, and two Iraqi National Police battalions, continued searching and clearing operations in Abu Al Khasib of Basra, Iraq May 31.
The Iraqi Army led the sweep from early May 31 to early June 1. Two Iraqi National police battalions followed as a support component searching for criminal elements and weapons caches.
The National IP detained one suspect and discovered a cache of 52 AK-47 assault rifles and one sub-machine gun.
Coalition Forces from the U.S. Marine Corps and United Kingdom Military Transition Teams remain with the IA in a supporting role to enable assets, if necessary.
The operation, which began March 25 in Basra, continues to bring the surrounding area to normalcy with infrastructure support missions focusing on canal clearing operations, substation repair and construction, and road repairs.
Table of contents for Sadr Revolt 2008
- Moqtada al-Sadr Starts to Fight
- Sadr Revolt 3-26-2008 am
- Sadr’s Revolt 3-27-2008
- 67 Terrorists Killed
- Iran Backing Sadr Revolt in Iraq
- Sadr Revolt 3-28-2008 early am
- Sadr Revolt 3-28-2008 pm
- Media Mavens Mistake Military Moves
- Sadr Revolt 3-30-2008 am
- Sadr Orders Halt to Revolt
- Iraqi Special Operations Forces kill 14 criminals in Basra
- Kadhamiyah Cleans Up After Sadr Fight
- Brits in Basra – Crack Shots
- Iraqi Army seizes caches in mosque, hospital
- MND-SE holds memorial for fallen Marine
- Iraqis Continue Basra Cleanup
- Iraqis Continue Sadr City Cleanup
- Basra Update June 7 2008
- Chief Warrant Officer Ronald C. Ivy
Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad Soldiers observed Good Friday with Christians from the Doura neighborhood of the Iraqi capital, March 21.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Dragon, attended the service at St. Johnâ€™s Church near the Doura market.
A reduction in violence in the area since November has allowed the church to hold regular services. Prior to then, the church had not held a service since May.
One MND-B Soldier said that with peace spreading throughout Baghdad, the Iraqi people are returning to their normal routines, such as attending worship services.
â€œTheyâ€™re seeing a sense of normalcy return; theyâ€™re seeing the opportunity to go to church without getting shot at, without getting blown up. Theyâ€™re seeing that opportunity,â€ said Master Sgt. Joseph Kather, who hails from Coffee Springs, Md. Kather serves as the Human Terrain Team non-commissioned officer in charge with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
For another Soldier attending, being invited to the service was special.
â€œItâ€™s just an awesome privilege to be able to be with the Iraqi people, to see them returning and being able to worship without fear from sectarian violence,â€ said Capt. Ronnie Fisher, who serves as a chaplain with of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 4th Inf. Regt. Fisher is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas.
By Cpl. Ben Washburn
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division