American Forces Press Service
Oct. 25, 2007 - Coalition forces with Multinational Division North continue to work with the government of Iraq to rebuild infrastructure and improve quality of life for people of northern Iraq. Since assuming responsibility for security and reconstruction in northern Iraq in September 2006, Task Force Lightning has reported beginning 1,433 projects, valued at $101.4 million, and completed 1,119 projects, valued at $37.4 million. The projects include supporting more than 100 humanitarian assistance projects, costing $4.1 million, and reconstructing major crimes courts.
In Diyala, completed projects included a water filtration system in Buhriz and a library in Muqdadiyah. For the Ninevah province, the division renovated a business center, purchased water trucks in Baaj and completed several other projects. In the works, Task Force Lightning is improving the consistency of fuel distribution throughout the province by assisting Ministry of Oil allocations.
For Mosul, MNDN is helping plan Mosul dam contingencies, and continues to support reconstruction of the Mosul major crimes court. Salahuddin province projects include constructing a major crimes court, and rebuilding the provincial television station.
In addition to helping rebuild northern Iraq, the projects also provided 197 grants to small businesses throughout the area. Diyala Electric Industries, a Ministry of Industry and Minerals state-owned enterprise and the only manufacturer of high power line electrical transformers in Iraq, is increasingly operational with hundreds of employees after operating at limited capacity due to the security situation since 2003.
"DEI is arguably the most strategically important factory in all of Iraq," and its managers anticipate reaching peak or near-peak production levels within the next 24 months, according to officials with the Defense Department's Business Stability Operations Task Force who visited the factory in August.
The factory is located on the western side of Baqouba and has the ability to manufacture electrical power transformers, distribution transformers, electric meters, clothing irons, ceiling fans, spark plugs and additional electronic items, and primarily services the ministries of Electricity and Oil.
The company, which reported running only seven commuter buses for employees in Baqouba on Aug. 29, now has 25 commuter buses operating in Baqouba and its surrounding villages, employing about 800 citizens. Projects are under way to allow DEI to reach its maximum potential, officials said.
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)