General praises Providers for base closure efforts
Story and photo by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
CAMP CEDAR II, Iraq — Brig. Gen. Randal A. Dragon, the deputy commanding general with the 1st Infantry Division, visited Camp Cedar II, Iraq, April 3 to observe the progress that has been made toward transferring convoy support operations to Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, as well as preparing Cedar for closure.
Capt. Valentino Bailey, the contracting officer with the 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Dallas, native, said Cedar should be closed down by the Aug. 21 deadline set by United States Division – South.
Bailey accompanied Dragon during his visit and briefed him on the status of the Cedar to Adder move.
"My goal was to talk to him … about some challenges we have been having, where we hope to be in the next 30 days and what he can do to help facilitate the process," he said.
With several units and civilian contractors working together on this project, moving Camp Cedar II to COB Adder has been difficult to coordinate, but is now in the final stages, Bailey said.
"Coordination has definitely been a challenge," he said. "Hopefully we will be able to execute along the timeline, get the fuel farm over here as expected in the next three or four weeks and have personnel follow."
Dragon, an Alexandria, Va., native, said as the battle space owner, his unit has a responsibility to assist the 13th SC(E) and ensure that the area is in the proper environmental condition when it is turned over to the Iraqi government.
"We will follow all the steps that are required, without cutting any corners, and make sure that we turn over an environmentally sound piece of land back to our Iraqi counterparts," he said.
Dragon said the 36th Sust. Bde. and the 13th SC(E) have reduced the footprint at Camp Cedar II and prepared the base for closure.
"I think the Soldiers in the (36th) Sust. Bde. are doing a great job, as well as the Soldiers from the (13th) ESC," he said. "It is great to have forward-looking and forward-leaning Soldiers here, because what the sustainment brigade has done under the umbrella of the ESC, is taken on a project … that has taken three years to come to fruition. Both those organizations have really sought to complete this one on their watch. I hold them in high esteem for that, because it (comes) at a critical juncture to reduce our footprint here in Iraq."
Trucks move containerized housing units March 11 from Camp Cedar II, Iraq, to Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, to be used for the new convoy support center under construction at Adder and to start preparing Cedar for base closure.