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Iraqi Army Opens $165 Million Base at Numaniyah

By Sgt. Jared Zabaldo, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

NUMANIYAH, Iraq, Sept. 3, 2004 – The Iraqi flag was raised over the newly refurbished and rebuilt forward training base here Sept. 1 in a ceremony on the station's parade grounds, signaling an end to the roughly $165 million coalition project.

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Soldiers from the Iraqi army stand in ranks during the flag- raising ceremony at the army base at Numaniyah, Iraq, Sep. 1. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Joe Kane, USN
  

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The opening coincides with the arrival of the Iraqi Intervention Force's 3rd Battalion recruits, who join two other battalions currently training at the base. Numaniyah will serve as the Iraqi army's 2nd Brigade headquarters. The base is a step toward rebuilding the nation, said the 5th Division commander.

Since renovation began early this year, coalition efforts have included work on existing buildings -- mostly shells without windows, electricity, and septic systems -- and the addition of new structures, sewers, electricity, air conditioning, security and various other projects on the base.

Located roughly 90 miles southeast of Baghdad in the Wasit province, the base was formerly a project under construction by Yugoslav contractors for the former regime. It will now operate as a training base for new recruits and serve as the home station for three battalions of the Iraqi Intervention Force, the Iraqi army's counterinsurgency wing.

In addition to serving as a much-needed training base for the Iraqi armed forces, the base employs roughly 2,000 workers from surrounding areas. Local citizens have been in on the project from the ground up, helping or employed in many critical aspects including school construction and refurbishments, medical assistance and water projects.

Joining bases in Kasik, Kirkuk, Taji and Kurkush, Numaniyah may also include base housing for soldiers' families. Two base dining facilities will be complete in the coming months, as well, with the capacity to feed roughly 3,000 soldiers each.

An Iraqi Police Services regiment also is slated to begin special military operations in urban terrain training and counterinsurgency instruction with the arrival of a large officer class later this month.

About 2,500 soldiers are garrisoned and training at Numaniyah.

(Courtesy of the Coalition Press Information Center, Baghdad, Iraq.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageCoalition and Iraqi army leaders and local sheiks look on as the Iraqi army raises the Iraqi flag over the army base at Numaniyah, Iraq, Sept. 1. The ceremony marked the end of the roughly $165 million coalition project. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Joe Kane, USN  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers from the Iraqi army prepare to raise the Iraqi flag over the army base at Numaniyah, Iraq, Sept. 1. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Joe Kane, USN  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers from the Iraqi army stand ready for inspection during the flag-raising ceremony at the army base at Numaniyah, Iraq, Sept. 1. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Joe Kane, USN  
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