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Photo Information

Al Ubayd, Iraq (April 12, 2005)- Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Griffeth, the civil affairs chief with 5th Civil Affairs Group, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team-2 interviews a local gas station owner on the amount of gas the area uses, needs and the amount of supplies they need here Arpil 12. Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel (RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

Task Force 3/2, 5th CAG ready to help

12 Apr 2005 | Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

The Marines moved from building to building on a mission, not to look for insurgents, but to find ways to improve the quality of life for the Iraqis living in the Al Qa’im region. Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Griffeth, team chief, 5th Civil Affairs Group in direct support of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, is one of these Marines, whose day started with a site assessment of a gas station.“What we are discovering out here is that the re-supply process gets slowed down here due to the location,” said Griffeth, who was a part of a team consisting of the 5th CAG, Security Platoon and the Information Operations cell of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines. “So we want to see about getting contractors out here to get them more gas on a more frequent basis.” This assessment was part of an ongoing mission to visit the gas stations in the Al Qa’im area. During this visit, the Marines gather information to determine the amount of gas needed and used in the area, and estimated the supplies needed by the stations in the local area. But the day was far from over for the CAG and IO Marines. They also visited a water treatment facility and met with the mayor of Al Qa’im to discuss plans to expand and improve the schools in the area. "We've been working extensively with the water treatment plant, trying to improve the quality of the water distributed to the Al Qa'im region," Griffeth said.The CAG and IO cell went to the water treatment facility, which improves water quality, to examine the pumping station and evaluate the security of the plant. The Marines inspect each stage of the project as they are completed, such as the new pumps, pipes and locks for the facility and the surrounding gates.The CAG also met with the mayor of Al Qa’im to discuss proposed improvements to local schools, such as expansions for some of the overcrowded buildings and general repairs to the overall facilities."The schools here are terribly run down and unsanitary for the children and teachers, so we talked about finding contractors to work on the projects,” said Maj. Vince J. Sumang, civil affairs team leader. Sumang and the mayor also discussed building a road in the area during the meeting.According to Sumang, the CAG’s main goal here is to improve the quality of local schools, water and heath care for the Iraqi people of the Al Qa’im region.Today was another step toward that goal.