One of the original engineers that worked on facilities in South Iraq right after the fall of Saddam Hussein has returned to Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Darrow works with the US Army Corps of Engineers. He has returned to Iraq as the Officer in Charge for the Forat Area Office that overseas over 42 different construction projects in the Babil area. The projects are working at locations in Wasit, Najaf, Al Qadisiyah, Babil and Karbala.
He has a staff of 72 people, including 48 Iraqi personnel, 12 US Government civilian engineers, and 12 military engineer Servicemembers. They are responsible for a number of essential improvements and a variety of construction projects. There are a number of projects they have completed including several water treatment projects, schools, medical facilities and a number of road projects.
Colonel Darrow is impressed with all of the changes from when he was last in Iraq five years ago. He was part of a six person Forward Engineer Support Advance team at the time, and the situation now is very much different.
One of the first parts of his new responsibilities was hiring Iraqi personnel. There are a number of coalition personnel, 16 new Iraqi engineers that have been instructed and trained by the coalition, and who were hired by Lieutenant Colonel Darrow to assist in the reconstruction projects on an ongoing basis.