Thursday, May 1, 2008

Arafia Canal Opens With Ribbon Cutting

Local leaders pause before a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the Arafia Canal, April 28 in Arafia, Iraq.

By Spc. Justin Snyder, 2nd BCT, 1st Armor Div., PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – A ribbon-cutting ceremony April 28 marked the re-opening of the Arafia Canal in Arafia, Iraq, which provides irrigation water to approximately 300 area families.

Members of the Jisr Diyala Nahia Council, Sons of Iraq and 3rd Brigade, 1st National Police Division, along with leaders of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment leaders and 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, took part in the event.

The upgrades include a new concrete lining and three functioning water pumps.

“The Iraqi people contracted all the workers and did all the labor,” said 1st Lt. Jeff Ritter, from Waterloo, Iowa, military operations officer for 3-1st Cav. Regt. civil military operations officer. “We just supplied the funding and influence to make it happen.”

Ritter said the canal opening resulted from cooperation between the Jisr Diyala Nahia Council, the local community council and coalition forces.

Ritter said continued partnership during the 3-1st Cav. Regt. and 1-35th Armor Regt. transition will allow the nahia leadership to maintain confidence in their coalition force counterparts.

The 3-1st Cav. Regt. is assigned to the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007.

The 1-35th Armor Regt., 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armor Division, from Baumholder, Germany, is currently replacing the 3-1st Cav. Regt. east of Baghdad.

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