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    Environmental clean-up big step in base turnover

    Environmental clean-up big step in base turnover

    Photo By Spc. Maurice Galloway | Workers with Al Haritha Company watch as the soil is dumped at the specified location. ... read more read more

    BASRA, IRAQ

    12.11.2009

    Story by Spc. Maurice Galloway 

    17th Field Artillery Brigade

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq — The 17th Fires Brigade has begun the environmental evaluation and clean up of bases occupied by U.S. troops in southern Basra in preparation for transfer of control to the Iraqi Army slated for January.

    Soldiers from the 17th Fires Brigade and the 203rd Military Police Company combined their efforts to clean up an oil spill at the Basra Operations Center that was left by previous tenants from years of careless refueling techniques as well as an ineffective containment system.

    "The U.S. Army prides itself on its commitment to using environmentally friendly practices in maintaining all of its bases of operation at home and abroad," said Maj. Jon K. Dyer, 17th Fires Brigade, engineer and native of Oklahoma City, Okla. "Our goal is to turn over each of these bases to the Iraqi Army in better condition than how we received them."

    Many of the bases located in southern Basra are powered by generators. After years of use, without proper maintenance and a faulty environmental hazard control system, the soil around the generator located at the BaOC has become contaminated.

    "As the non-commissioned officer in charge of base closure operations for the BaOC, it's my responsibility to ensure that we follow the proper protocol of disposing all potentially hazardous waste materials and ensure that environmental standards are upheld," said David E. Youngs, 203rd Military Police Company, 17th Fires Brigade.

    "Upon receiving the completed evaluation of the BaOC by Multinational Division Iraq-South's environmental manager Jon Sojka, I immediately began coordinating the site excavation of the contaminated area with Al Harith Company."

    Youngs said that the entire process of removing all the contaminated soil, transporting it to a proper waste disposal facility and implementing a precautionary spillage management system under the generators cost a mere $9,800.

    The environmental evaluation and clean-up of these bases marks one of the final steps of the preparation process for the 17th Fires Brigade's transfer of control to the Iraqi Army.

    "I must commend Sergeant Youngs and Maj. Dyer on the extraordinary job that they have done with preparing this base for turnover," said Jon Sojka, Multi-National Division Iraq-South, environmental manager. "They have executed a very well thought out plan and have complied with all of the policies directed for base closure by MNC-I."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.11.2009
    Date Posted: 12.11.2009 10:33
    Story ID: 42608
    Location: BASRA, IQ 

    Web Views: 236
    Downloads: 225
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    Environmental clean-up big step in base turnover