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Iraq and the U.S. military have agreed on a $53 million project to built a pier and seawall at the Um Qasr port, near Basra.

The project is the first Foreign Military Sales project between Iraq and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officials said.

FMS is a program in which a country pays the United States for construction and supplies for a project.

The project will end up as a berthing facility for the Iraqi Navy and support coalition patrol vessels securing the port and oil platforms, according to corps officials.

The Iraqi government is providing funding, and the corps is supplying contract and construction management, said Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, commander of the Corps’ Gulf Region Division.

The agreement was signed Feb. 12 in Baghdad, officials said.

Design of the project, which is said to use the latest marine technology, is 99 percent complete. Construction is to begin in March, and division officials say the project should be completed by September.

The contractors are CCI Inc. and Poly Earth Construction International.

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