American Forces Press Service
Aug. 28, 2008 - Iraqi army maintenance soldiers were honored for their recent achievements and progress during a ceremony at the Taji Level III Wheeled Vehicle Maintenance Facility Aug. 26. The ceremony highlighted the Iraqis' ability to perform Level III maintenance for 150 wheeled vehicles and 25 tracked vehicles since the Iraqi army took over the facility June 1.
"This averages out to about 20 vehicles a week, which is great," said U.S. army Capt. Randall Weiser, the Iraqi Security Force Cell officer in charge.
In attendance was Staff Gen. Nasier Abadi, the Iraqi army's deputy chief of staff, and guest of honor, and others from the Iraqi army and coalition forces.
Brig. Gen. Muniem, the electrical and mechanical engineering officer, the keynote speaker for the event, praised the hard work of the officers and soldiers of the Level III facility.
"We have done a great job fixing a lot of vehicles during this campaign, so congratulations," he said. "They are very professional and work very hard to support the Iraqi army and our country."
In April, a small group of officers and soldiers of the U.S. army's 1st Sustainment Brigade started working with their Iraqi counterparts, making this event just as exciting for them to see as well.
"It's exciting. This represents change for the Iraqi army," said Chief Warrant Officer Keith Hammitt, a maintenance advisor. "This is a result of their hard work and sacrifice."
After the speech, Nasier cut the ceremonial ribbon, then he touring the facility and talking with the mechanics. At one point, the soldiers broke out in song and dance as the general and his staff clapped along.
Afterward, several soldiers received awards from Abadi. Each soldier and officer saluted the general, shook his hand, and accepted their award with pride.
"Through this effort, we are able to insure the country is more secure," Muniem said.
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)