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3/23 continues to serve the Haditha Triad

14 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Shawn Coolman

Top Coalition Force leadership visited with Ma’Moun Sami Rashid, the provincial governor of Ramadi, Wednesday outside near Haqlaniyah to discuss plans for the K-3 power plant and refinery.

 The leaders toured different locations of importance around the Haditha Triad and discussed plans for getting the plants running to supply power and fuel to the area.

 “We’re here to get the K-3 oil refinery online so it produces diesel and other products that are important to Iraq, while simultaneously signaling a return to normalcy” said Maj. Gordon L. Hilbun, the commanding officer of Company W, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5.

 The local citizens of the Haditha Triad have mentioned on numerous occasions to the Marines of 3rd Bn., 23 Marines, that they are not receiving enough kerosene for their families. The Marines of 3rd Bn., 23rd Marines, have listened to the people’s concerns and are actively pursuing a solution.

 “This plan is a symbol to the local people of more stable and productive times, and therefore it is equally important to the local people and the nation as a whole,” said Hilbun, who is a civilian energy consultant in the U.S.

 This project to supply the people with sufficient power and fuel has been an ongoing development between the officials of Iraq and the Coalition Forces.

 Many meetings have come and gone and progress, albeit slow, is beginning to show, with the workers at the plants making repairs and doing test runs on the equipment.

 There have been a few set backs in getting the products to the people. One of the turbines in the refinery plant is not working and getting a constant flow of crude oil to the refinery is difficult due to large distances needed for it to travel.

 Members of 3rd Bn., 23 Marines, have played an intricate role in the progress of facilitating the progression of the factory.

 “We coordinated with the key players, (outside oil industry leaders), to bring the railroad and refinery people together to agree on the best solution to integrate the two,” said Hilbun.

 “We facilitated getting the decision makers together to get the ball rolling, culminating in what you see here,” said Capt. Mathew B. Mayo, a platoon commander for Company W.

 Mayo mentioned that there is a symbiotic relationship between three key projects in the Haditha Triad: K-3, the train station and the Tahadi power plant project. Each project works off each other to supply power and fuel to the people.

 Governor Ma’Moun said the plant should be up and producing the products needed by the people soon.

 “I want the factory to be running seven days a week, 24 hours a day when it is up and running,” said Rashid.

 There are still a few obstacles to overcome before the people realize the fruit of every ones labor, but Coalition Forces, 3rd Bn., 23 Marines, and Iraqi leadership are working side-by-side to make this happen for the people of Haditha.

 “I want to invite you all back to witness the first drops of production from the plant,” concluded Rashid.