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    Al Kut welcomes fish and meat market

    Al Kut Welcomes Fish and Meat Market

    Courtesy Photo | Lt. Col. Shaun E. Tooke, commander, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    1st Infantry Division

    Story by: Sgt. Matt Hayes

    AL-KUT, Iraq — Since March 2008, the Wasit Provincial Reconstruction Team, along with U.S. forces and Iraqi Security Forces at Contingency Operating Base Delta near al-Kut, has been working to establish economic stability in the region by giving local merchants sanitary places to sell their meat and fish.

    With the establishment of a new $5 million fish and meat market, a major step has been taken toward meeting that goal. The 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted the grand opening March 20, of the joint project between the U.S. government and the city of al-Kut.

    The building is completely under the control of the city and the Wasit PRT hopes the market will remain a symbol of friendship to the city for years to come.

    The project involved numerous man hours to design and build, including time invested by the Wasit PRT, Army Corps of Engineers and the Soldiers of the 1st Bn., 10th FAR.

    Brig. Gen. Randal Dragon, deputy commanding general for support, 1st Infantry Division and United States Division-South, attended the grand opening.

    "I can recognize this step in progress," Dragon said. "These buildings were built by Iraqis for Iraqis."

    The buildings offer a hygienic environment to store and sell meat and fish — as well as a generator — in order to create more jobs and enhance business development in the city.

    U.S. forces in the province will continue to monitor the market and assist alongside the Wasit PRT to ensure the people will have the best chance to use the project to its fullest capacity.

    Soldiers of Company B, 1st Bn., 10th FAR., have provided security to the PRT throughout the past five months of the construction, ensuring the PRT could remain focused on the project.

    During the grand opening, Soldiers and commanders of 1st Bn., 10th FAR. could see clearly the end result of everyone's hard work and dedication.

    The gift to the city of al-Kut was not overlooked by the governor of Wasit Province, who attended the event, along with many other key leaders. Many of those leaders received awards for their continued efforts and strong partnership with U.S. forces.

    "Anytime two groups of people work together and the outcome is successful, it only strengthens the relationship," said Capt. James Bertolino, battalion projects officer, 1st Bn., 10th FAR.

    Bertolino said he has great optimism for the future of the people of Wasit Province and that the stronger the relationship between U.S. forces and the ISF, the bigger the projects can be.

    "If you look around, you see a strong security presence representing a variety of Iraqi Security Forces partnered with our units," said Lt. Col. Shaun E. Tooke, commander, 1st Bn., 10th FAR. "We are able to conduct projects like this because of a safe and secure environment in Wasit Province".



    Date Taken: 04.01.2010
    Date Posted: 04.01.2010 04:35
    Story ID: 47514
    Location: AL-KUT, IQ

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