When do we get our forts?


The Army News Service reports that the US Army is assisting the Iraqis, who are building 100 border forts in the Northern Sector of Iraq, and Soldiers are also helping to repair and enhance other points of entry.  There are 34 forts under construction, with another 66 expected to be added in the coming months.

It is estimated that $25 million is being spent on the project. Controlling Iraq's borders has been a critical requirement since the fall of Baghdad to the Coalition.  Within days, foreign agents, often intermingling with legitimate religious pilgrims, began infiltrating into the country.

The Army's 133d Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) is overseeing the operation and all construction is being done by the Iraqis.  Capt. Dave Bouffard, battalion civil engineer for the 133 ECB (H) says,

'The forts function as the Iraqi border patrol's command outpost from which they run 24—7 operations,' explained Bouffard. 'All forts include living quarters and office space, as well as independent life support sources for water, fuel, power generation and sewer.'


Over $2 million is being spent to upgrade and renovate existing border points of entry. The upgrades include vehicle staging and inspection areas, seizure and storage areas, a banking facility for currency exchange, guard posts, a customs facility and an immigration facility.

Wilson Myers, Project and Contracting Office representative for Iraq's northern governorates, said,

'We are focused on properly equipping and manning the force in order to protect freedom for a sovereign Iraq.'

Memo to President Bush and DHS Secretary Designate Michael Chertoff:  When do we get our border forts?

Doug Hanson 02—05—05