American Forces Press Service
March 27, 2008 - Marines and sailors delivered the first batch of personal protection equipment, valued at $118,000, to employees of the Northern Petroleum Co. at the K3 Oil refinery here March 25. "During the former regime, protection for the laborers and employees was not available," the Iraqi manager of the refinery said through an interpreter. "We hope the relationship between our two great nations will remain and grow stronger and stronger."
The Marines and sailors, who are assigned to Civil Affairs Group Detachment 1, Team 6 of the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based Regimental Combat Team 5, capitalized on a Multinational Force West-sponsored initiative introduced by Army Brig. Gen. Martin Post, Multinational Force West deputy commander.
"They had flip-flops that their toes stuck out of and no eye protection, nothing to protect their hands and no hearing protection," said Colorado native Navy Lt. j.g. Eric Palmer, Team 6 leader. "We're providing everything from hearing protection, facial shields, goggles, gloves, coveralls and steel-toed boots. We're also providing the fire department with bunker gear."
When fully operational, the refinery, in conjunction with the Haditha Dam several kilometers away, will roughly double electricity production in Iraq's Anbar province.
"This is a good day," said Marine 1st Lt. Brian O'Shea, the executive officer of Civil Affairs Group Detachment 1, from Staten Island, N.Y. "It is one of many first steps on the road to economic self-sufficiency for al Anbar province."
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)