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KHALIDYAH, Iraq (September 29, 2008) – Marines with Civil Affairs Team 4, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, in direct support of Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, walk through the new Khalidyah Government Center Sept. 29, during a final inspection before its grand opening. Erected from the ground up over the last four months, the government center extends three stories high as a symbol of achievement in the community. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

Khalidyah Government Center on track for grand opening

29 Sep 2008 | Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

KHALIDYAH, Iraq (September 29, 2008) –  Marines from Civil Affairs Team 4, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, in direct support of Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, visited the construction site of the Khalidyah government center Sept. 29.

The Marines evaluated progress being made at the center to ensure it will be completed in time for its grand opening ceremony later this month.

 “The building is near completion aside from small, final cosmetic touch-ups,” said Cpl. Isaac Martinez, a 20-year-old communications chief from Espanola, Mexico. “When completed it will give people the access they need to their local government.” 

 Erected from the ground up throughout the last four months, the government center stands three stories high and will serve as a symbol of achievement in the community.

 “There was no real government facility in the area,” explained 1st Lt. Matthew Ashton, the team’s officer in charge. “Every government should have a solid place to conduct business.”

 Ashton said the Habbaniyah Mayor and City Council had requested a modern government center for some time, but were unable to attain the funds to build it.

 The government center has the potential to be an enabler for future achievements in the community. It brings the two bodies of local government, the mayor and city council, together, allowing for one location where citizens can voice their concerns.

 “The center allows the community to continue establishing their own government and become more independent,” said Hospitalman Timothy Tilney, a 23-year-old corpsman from San Jose, Calif. “It legitimizes and puts the local government officials in power.”

 The construction project also fueled the growth of the community’s economy by providing jobs to local Iraqis, who, in some cases, learned a new skill they can use for future work.

 Once opened, the Khalidyah Government Center will provide the community with the necessary tools for continued economic and governmental growth.