European briefs: Army Corps of Engineers marks four years in Iraq
The Army Corps of Engineers marked its fourth year in Iraq on Friday with a ceremony celebrating the activation of the Gulf Region Division in 2004.
Since then, the corps has completed more than 4,400 reconstruction projects throughout Iraq, but it has also been dogged by instances of fraud, waste and failed projects.
“This isn’t so much the celebration of a birthday as it is the celebration of an anniversary and a relationship,” Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Dorko, the GRD commander, said in a news release issued by the command. “We wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have someone to serve; if we didn’t have deployed coalition forces to serve on the military construction side. We wouldn’t have a reason to exist if we did not have a role serving the Iraqi people and the leadership of Iraq to set conditions for them to go forward. … We are first and foremost a service organization.”
The Gulf Region Division has spent more than $8.4 billion in a building program the size of which they say has not been seen since the Marshall Plan after World War II.
Officials said work continues on more than 500 projects, costing more than $2.1 billion. The projects range from transportation and water facilities to work on electricity, health care and schools.