Mayor promotes safety in Mosul
Story and photo by Sgt. Keith S. VanKlompenberg
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq — The Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) held a mayor cell meeting April 5 at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, to discuss current issues and future plans for the base and its inhabitants.
"We're 30 days on ground today as the mayor cell," said Lt. Col. Warner Holt, commander of the RFS, 278th ACR and a Winchester, Tenn., native. "We're glad to be here."
The meeting, which is held monthly, gave military leaders and civilian contractors a chance to discuss the services they provide on base, but the main focus was on safety, said Holt.
"Our field of view is very wide because we're looking at more than 10,000 Soldiers and civilians," he said. "We're looking at safety across the board."
Maj. Tommie Stevens, the executive officer for the RFS and the mayor of COB Marez, said they are preparing for the base to get busier.
"This is one of the (bases) that's going to endure for a short time," he said. "As we have more people, we're going to need to be more safety conscious."
Stevens, a Sherwood, Tenn., native, said they are trying to curb speeding offenses on the base and better enforce the visibility of badges on contractors.
Safety in containerized housing units has also been an issue, said Capt. Christopher Tutje, the safety officer for the RFS and a Nashville, Tenn., native.
Tutje said they are in the process of fixing bad wiring and updating plugs in all living areas.
"We have to err on the side of safety with what we put in our CHUs," he said. "We just don't want anybody getting hurt."
In addition to safety issues, Stevens briefed leaders about the need to continue the drawdown process through Operation Material Advantage.
"There's a lot of equipment lying around that needs to be turned in through the system," he said.
Stevens said Operation Material Advantage is a sort of spring cleaning project they conduct with 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
Tutje said collaboration between units, and between military and civilian workers, is important during any operation and is one of the reasons they hold the mayor cell meetings.
"Our scope can't just be unit level," said Tutje. "It's about building relationships with people and maintaining them. You have to have the right people to build relationships."
Maj. Tommie Stevens, the executive officer with the Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), mayor of Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, and a Sherwood, Tenn., native, takes questions from military leaders and civilian contractors at the mayor cell meeting April 4 at COB Marez. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keith S. VanKlompenberg)