July 24, 2006

Iraqis, US Army CoE working hard to secure western border

This effort should prove critical to securing Iraq's borders from foreign terrorists.

Iraq’s Western Border Becoming More Secure

by Norris Jones
Gulf Region Central District
US Army Corps of Engineers

Al Asad, Iraq— Iraq’s western border with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia will now be more secure thanks to a continuous line of outposts that will be completed this month.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Central District (GRC) was responsible for overseeing that work which included 23 border forts overlooking nearly 600 kilometers of Iraq’s remote western frontier. The final fort, Border Fort 32, located along the Saudi Arabian border, was recently completed.

Each of those castle-like, one-story structures, built by a crew of about 20 Iraqis, measures 24.25 meters by 19.5 meters. They are reinforced concrete masonry buildings with a raised center clerestory. Each features a dormitory area, kitchen, armory, observation posts, perimeter security lighting, berms, offices, showers, as well as electrical and plumbing services provided by on-site twin 50kV generators and six 250-gallon water tanks. Each facility is manned by 20 to 40 Border Police at all times.

"Border security is extremely important," said Lt. Commander Damon Lilly, Officer in Charge of GRC’s Al Asad Resident Office in Al Anbar Province, who worked with the Iraqi contractors to ensure the border forts were completed. "Those facilities offer a secure environment for border police who have a very difficult job in some of the most hostile, desolate areas of Iraq. The 590 kilometers of border terrain is an arid desert with temperatures rising to over 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. It was a difficult challenge"

The forts are located about every 20 kilometers and cost approximately $250,000 each. "The whole purpose of these outposts is to enhance border patrol effectiveness in stopping unauthorized travel and supplies," Lilly explained.

Posted by Kyer at July 24, 2006 12:12 PM | TrackBack