News: The new road to Taji: Engineers provide safe passage for Iraqi detainees family members
Story by Sgt. Tracy Knowles
BAGHDAD — As the orange sun rises above Camp Taji, Soldiers of the 1192nd Engineer Company (Vertical), a National Guard unit based out of Ohio, bustle around, gathering protective equipment and tools to begin another day of work on a new, safer road through Taji.
Taji, once an Iraqi military base located approximately 15 miles north of Baghdad, is now considered one of fourteen remaining "enduring bases" providing U.S. and Iraqi forces with air travel, barracks for troops that provide security, and housing for Iraqi detainees.
Camp Taji Theater Internment Reconciliation Center provides detainees with programs to help learn new skills; it also provides family visitation. What it doesn't provide is a direct route to the facility.
Detainees' family members had to be brought through a gate on the east side of Taji in order to visit with them. This method of getting families into the facility raised many concerns about not only the safety of the visiting families, but also the safety of coalition forces stationed on the base.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently tasked 101st Engineer Battalion with constructing a new passage directly to the detention facility from outside the camp.
After a month of grading, leveling, and many soil compaction tests, the first phase of the road is complete and the engineers are awaiting gravel to be laid and T-barriers to be positioned around the detention facility.
In the meantime, the Soldiers have set and filled more than 9,000 feet of new Hesco barriers around the outside perimeter and removed the old Hescos, which have been in place around the camp for more than seven years.
This work, The new road to Taji: Engineers provide safe passage for Iraqi detainees family members, by SGT Tracy Knowles, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.