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    New command center builds stronger relationships between Iraqi, Coalition leaders

    New command center builds stronger relationships between Iraqi, Coalition leaders

    Photo By Staff Sgt. William Reinier | A coalition adviser takes a phone call from the Combined Joint Operations Command...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. William Reinier  

    82nd Airborne Division

    BAGHDAD – Coalition service members from the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command - Iraq (CJFLCC-I) know that any improvements they can make to the way information is shared between the coalition and its Iraqi Security Force partners will make their shared mission to defeat ISIL more effective.

    Fostering increased collaboration and coordination is important for CJFLCC-I’s three lines of effort: coordinating airstrikes; advise and assist; and building partner capacity – all of which contributed to recent successes made by the ISF in Ramadi.

    One of the most visible components of CJFLCC-I’s mission in Iraq rests on the air campaign. Since operations began in Iraq, U.S. and Coalition forces have executed nearly 6,600 airstrikes on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions throughout the country.

    “The entire coalition is involved in this,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Clarke, CJFLCC-I commander. “[The coalition] is ensuring that the Iraqi army are getting precise, accurate, and lethal strikes that allow them to press on to future targets.”

    To carry out airstrikes on Iraq’s sovereign soil, all potential targets must first meet strict requirements that take the possibility of civilian casualties and the military necessity of striking it. Then, it must be approved by designated officials in the Iraqi government.

    To ensure that the time this process takes does not affect the mission, the CJFLCC-I and Government of Iraq established the Combined Joint Operations Command (CJOC) in Baghdad.

    “That’s important,” says Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for CJTF-OIR. “In every case, every bomb we drop in Iraq has an Iraqi government official sign-off on it. The coordination mechanism is strong.”

    Coordination wouldn’t be possible without the CJOC, where coalition and Iraqi officers work side-by-side to identify and strike ISIL targets and provide the command and control for ISF throughout Iraq’s Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys.

    To help improve that relationship, the Regional Contracting Office in Baghdad assisted the CJFLCC-I Engineer Cell with relocating the CJOC closer to Coalition leaders. Now, the CJOC sits only meters away from the CJFLCC-I headquarters building inside of the International Zone.

    Working together, the contracting office and engineers developed a strategy to procure the critical construction materials to completely renovate the space needed for the new CJOC.

    U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 244th Engineer Battalion from Denver, Colorado and the 338th Engineer Company from Attleboro, Massachusetts, provided the manpower necessary to complete the task.

    “[The Soldiers] love doing construction,” said 1st Lt. Justin Nowicki, a platoon leader assigned to the 338th Engineer Company. “That’s the most satisfying thing as a lieutenant is seeing your plan put into action and your Soldiers doing their job.”

    In addition to strengthening the bonds between the coalition and the Iraqi army, the contracting office was also able to contribute to the local economy by awarding the contract for the CJOC improvements to a small business in Baghdad. The business provided essential supplies, making sure the Soldiers were able to get the materials needed to quickly bring the new CJOC to full operational capacity.

    “The local Iraqi vendors are supporting the efforts of their government and security forces by answering the call to provide the necessary resources,” said Maj. Timothy Godwin, a contracting operations officer with OIR. “[The vendors are] ultimately assisting with their nation's fight to defeat Daesh.”

    Ultimately, it’s the regional contracting office’s responsibility to manage delivery for the materials.

    "The contracting team was integral during all phases of the project,” said 2nd Lt. Christopher Blackburn, an engineer platoon leader assisting with the project. “Especially during the execution of the construction by coordinating the timely delivery and providing the needed oversight to ensure the vendor delivered the correct [materials].”

    The relocation and renovation of the new CJOC is one example of the numerous contracts awarded under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund program to assist the Iraqi Security Forces in the fight against ISIL.



    Date Taken: 01.30.2016
    Date Posted: 01.30.2016 09:03
    Story ID: 187479
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

    Web Views: 742
    Downloads: 15
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