News: Engineer leader meets with Soldiers
BAGHDAD — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' deputy chief paid a visit to Soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard's 225th Engineer Brigade and the Ohio National Guard's 16th Engineer Brigade, Oct. 23.
Maj. Gen. Meredith W.B. (Bo) Temple and about forty engineer Soldiers enjoyed a frank discussion about current engineering efforts and infrastructure development in Iraq.
Temple told Soldiers that engineering in Iraq is a complex process that involves a delicate relationship between economic development and security.
"It was clear that there would be no shortage of work coming their way because there is more work to be done than engineers to do it," said Temple.
Temple explained that while there is a great deal of infrastructure already developed in Iraq, much of it is not in working order or was previously not fairly distributed among the people of Iraq.
"Our engineer Soldiers' missions are small pieces of the big picture that is getting all of this infrastructure back into working order, ensuring that it is evenly distributed and that it is safe and secure," he said.
"This was a rare opportunity for our young engineers to see the big picture," said Spc. Barry Anderson, from Conneaut, Ohio, 1192nd Engineering Company, after the hour-long meeting with Temple. "It lets us know that we are here for a purpose."
"It is good to know we are helping out the people of the country but makes you grateful for what you have at home," said Sgt. Christopher Beatty, from Austintown, Ohio, with the 1192nd Eng. Co.
Before he departed the get together, Temple left Soldiers with closing words of inspiration which hit home with the departing 225th engineers and their incoming counterparts with the 16th Eng. Bde. about what they have done to help the people of Iraq and the missions still unfinished.
"You are here during an extremely important time," said Temple. We are participating in an effort not only to rebuild infrastructure but to rebuild it in a way that it will be sustained for the long-term by the Iraqi people. This is an historic and fragile moment we are in and we must take every step carefully to ensure that the Iraqi people are set up for success for decades to come."