Monday, March 5, 2007

"We" Continue To Help

Al-Rashid farmers’ union, cavalry paratroopers distribute fertilizer

Sunday, 04 March 2007
FOB FALCON — The al-Rashid Nahia Farmers’ Union and paratroopers from 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division worked together to sell 3,100 bags of a fertilizer to union members at a discounted price in the southern Baghdad al-Rashid district Feb. 27.
A civil affairs team, attached to 1-40th Cavalry, advised the council and arranged to provide security for the union distribution sites and council members as they move the union’s profits from al-Rashid to a local bank.

The farmers’ union is managed by an eight member council, representing the eight tribes in the local area. The farmers’ union has 3,000 registered members.

Members are entitled to use one of the nine union tractors and purchase discounted seed, fertilizer, and plastic for greenhouses. Recently, the farmers’ union has assumed a greater role as membership and profits increase.

Three units from 1-40 Cavalry participated in the fertilizer distribution.

The squadron forward support company, Company D, 725th Brigade Support Battalion, provided a distribution platoon to transport the 3,100 uriyah fertilizer bags.

Troop B, 1-40th Cavalry provided security at the distribution and dealt with one incident at the event. They identified unexploded ordnance near the distribution site which was secured, while an explosive ordnance disposal team was called in to retrieve it.

A civil affairs team and the squadron executive officer, Maj. Tim Davis, a native of Norfolk, Va., oversaw the effort and met with local tribal leaders.

“Supporting the local economy by working with the farmers’ union is a fulfilling part of our job in this area,” Davis said.

“The interaction between us, the local community, local tribal leaders and the Nahia government is what makes a positive impact here,” added Capt. Ray Buenteo, civil affairs team leader and Salem Keizer, Ore. native. “Supporting the farmers’ union improves the local economy and fosters a sense of cooperation between U.S. forces and the local population which helps to create a safe and secure Iraq.”

(By 1st Lt. Hayden Scardina, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment)
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, AK

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