War on Terrorism

Monday, March 09, 2009

U.S. Soldiers Give Gift of Tractors to Iraqi Farmers

By Army Pfc. Evan Loyd
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 9, 2009 - Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers presented 14 new tractors to local sheiks from the Lutifiyah Nahia area during a ceremony here March 5. Each Arma Trac 602 tractor can help to cultivate an area of more than 25 million square feet.

Soldiers with the 1st Armored Division's Task Force 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, used funds from the Commander's Emergency Response Program to purchase the tractors.

"When we were first asked [by the Lutifiyah council], we
immediately wanted to help," Army Lt. Col. Michael Mammay, commander of the task force, said. "Agriculture is very important in helping this area."

Lutifiyah Nahia is primarily an agricultural area, and the farmers there work mostly with handheld or animal-driven equipment. The new tractors will allow them to rebuild their farmland faster.

"Every day we drive down the road, we can see the green
returning to the area," Mammay said. "With the tractors we are providing today, we hope to see even more green return."

The improving security situation in Iraq has allowed the local government in Lutifiyah Nahia to focus on improving the economy for a better quality of life. The tractors not only will allow local farmers to grow crops, but they will contribute to the stability of the region.

"We won't squander the goodwill of the Americans," said Sheik Hamash, chairman of the Lutifiyah Nahia Council. "We will use these tractors to help bring back the area to its fullest."

(Army Pfc. Evan Loyd serves with the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

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