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101st Donates More Than 230 Computers to Mosul City Hall

By Pfc. Chris Jones, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

MOSUL, Iraq, Dec. 11, 2003 – A 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) program to provide computers to the employees of Mosul city hall made its final contribution here today, bringing the total number of computers donated to 233.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Master Sgt. Paul Franks (left) and Chief Warrant Officer Carrie McLeish, automation technicians for the Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), finish installing a networking system on a computer at Mosul city hall Dec. 11. More than 230 computers were donated to the facility by coalition forces. Photo by Pfc. Chris Jones, USA.
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The project has been in effect since September, and the last of the computers were installed by Chief Warrant Officer Carrie McLeish and Master Sgt. Paul Franks, automation technicians. The team has been in charge of installing new computers and the Internet at several buildings in northern Iraq, including the University of Mosul and the Oil Ministry of Nineveh province. Coalition forces have spent more than $150,000 on the project.

Every computer in Mosul City Hall donated by the 101st was also hooked to the Internet, offering better global communication than the work force there has ever had access to, officials said. The project facilitates communication with the governor of Nineveh province, Ghanim al-Basso, whose office is in the city headquarters.

"This will allow coalition forces to communicate with the governor of Nineveh, and it also allows the governor to communicate with citizens outside Mosul," McLeish said. Concurrent with the donation of computers and software, soldiers have been training a group of Iraqi citizens to maintain the system after the division redeploys. McLeish said the three main targets for training are Web page upkeep, basic computer skills and networking proficiency.

"We want to educate people on what coalition forces are doing here in Iraq," McLeish said. "We want to stop misinformation about what our goals are here and provide Iraqis with a bigger picture. This is a big step."

(Army Pfc. Chris Jones is assigned to the 40th Public Affairs Detachment.)

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