Building the Local Economy at Q-West

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Building the Local Economy at Q-West Powered By Docstoc
					Building	the	Local	Economy	at	Q-West
                                                                    by   staff sergeant PatriCia MCCarthy, Waarng

  			he	arrival	of	two	Washington	Army	National	           multiple	strategies	for	improving	the	economic	state	
    						Guard	units,	the	81st	Brigade	Special	Troops		   of	the	local	Iraqi	population.	The	units	made	notewor-
										Battalion	(BSTB)	and	the	headquarters	and	       thy	progress	by	laying	the	groundwork	for	employing	
headquarters	company	(HHC)	of	the	181st	Brigade	           many	local	nationals.
Support	Battalion	(BSB),	at	Contingency	Operating	
Base	(COB)	Qayyarah	West	(Q-West),	Iraq,	brought	          Nonlethal	Engagement	Team
about	significant	changes	on	and	off	the	installation.	        One	strategy	for	improving	the	local	economy	was	
The	two	units	worked	diligently	to	improve	economic	       the	use	of	the	81st	BSTB	nonlethal	engagement	(NLE)	
conditions	in	the	villages	around	Q-West	by	providing	     team,	which	comprised	U.S.	Soldiers	who	focused	on	
basic	life	support	and	employment	to	local	residents.	     improving	relationships	between	coalition	forces	and	
    “The	people	of	Iraq	are	anxious	to	work;	educated	     local	nationals.	The	efforts	of	the	NLE	team	immense-
men	are	willing	to	perform	unskilled	labor	in	order	       ly	strengthened	the	units’	connections	to	the	villages	
to	feed	their	families,”	stated	Gee-Gee	Kitzler,	the	      surrounding	COB	Q-West.	The	NLE	program	enabled	
Iraqi	First	Initiative	operations	coordinator	for	KBR,	    the	81st	BSTB	to	notify	local	leaders	of	opportunities	
Inc.	By	establishing	good	relationships	with	the	local	    for	improving	their	living	conditions	and	to	determine	
village	leaders,	coalition	forces	were	able	to	develop	    which	villages	were	in	dire	need	of	employment.	The	
                                                           NLE	team	decided	which	villages	it	would	use	to	stage	
                                                           its	operations	and	then	notified	the	local	muktars,	or	
                                                           village	leaders,	about	the	employment	opportunities	
                                                           available	for	each	village.
                                                               As	part	of	the	NLE	program,	the	team	began	two	
                                                           military	construction	projects:	the	development	of	a	
                                                           new	north	entry	control	point	and	the	construction	of	a	
                                                           perimeter	fence	to	border	the	COB.	Most	of	the	labor-
                                                           ers	involved	in	these	two	projects	were	from	villages	
                                                           around	the	installation.	These	2	military	construction	
                                                           projects	were	expected	to	require	between	50	and	100	
                                                           workers	for	a	year	of	employment.	
                                                               Aside	from	basic	life	support	necessities,	like	clean	
                                                           water,	food,	and	shelter,	the	largest	need	existing	
                                                           within	the	local	communities	was	employment.	“If	you	
                                                           can	fix	the	job	situation,	you	also	fix	the	life	support	
                                                           issues,”	said	Lieutenant	Colonel	Kenneth	Garrison,	the	
                                                           81st	BSTB	commander.	
                                                               The	81st	BSTB	NLE	team	traveled	to	various	local	
Description: By bringing these leaders together, issues and concerns were confronted and resolved. [...] the VIP luncheon was an opportune time for the coalition forces to advertise any employment vacancies that could benefit the Iraqi leaders' villages.
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