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Major Gen. Martin Post, deputy commanding general for Multi-National Force-West, and Al-Kumanji Mawafek Mohammed, director of real estate, and several other members of the Iraqi government, sign the documents to officially turn the Haditha Dam back over to the Government of Iraq Dec 3. The dam supplies almost one-third of Iraq's electricity and had been controlled by Coalition forces since 2003.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

Government of Iraq takes control of Haditha Dam

3 Dec 2008 | Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

Marines with Regimental Combat Team 5 finished the final demilitarization of the Haditha Dam located along the Euphrates River.

Major Gen. Martin Post, deputy commanding general for Multi-National Force-West, signed over the dam Dec. 3 to Iraqi government officials and thereby capped the turnover of dam operations and security.

Al-Kumanji Mawafek Mohammed, director of real estate, and several other members of the Iraqi government, along with representatives from the Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army, attended on behalf of the Iraqi government to sign the final paperwork.

 “I just want to say thank you to all of the Marines who have been here over the years and say how much (Coalition Forces) appreciated the leadership of the gentlemen who have been here the entire time running this facility and coordinating with the Marines and Coalition forces.  They have done just a wonderful job during tough times to keep this facility up and running,” said Maj. Gen. Post.

Coalition forces have been responsible for the dam since 2003, and during that time the dam housed thousands of military personnel.

“The dam was a piece of key terrain because of its position on the river and also because it provides around one-third of Iraq’s electricity,” said Master Sgt. Joe Lopez, 36, from Chicago, who is the staff non commissioned officer in charge of the Haditha Dam Mayors Cell, RCT 5.   “Our presence here has also acted as a deterrent for people trying to smuggle things down the river.”

The turnover of the dam comes as little surprise as Coalition forces continue to assume an overwatch role and the Iraqis continue to take control of security throughout the country.

“While the Marines and Coalition forces occupied the dam, we were only able to send workers in for the day shift,” said Hassan Yahyah Hassan, who is a representative for the ministry of electricity as well as the overall director of the Dam.  “The removal of Coalition forces will facilitate the technical crew’s movement within the dam. We only have around 100 personnel, but now we will be able to fill three shifts that will employ 460 personnel and will keep the dam running 24-hours a day.”

Security for the facility, once a responsibility of Coalition forces, is now in the hands of the Iraqi Army and the police.  The turnover of responsibility is a huge step for Iraqis and military members alike because it signified the increasing self-sufficiency of Iraq.

“We are leaving, but we are willing and prepared to support the Iraq Army and other security elements if they need us,” said Maj. Gen. Post.


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