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1st MARINE DIVISION
BLUE DIAMOND HQ, AR RAMADI, IRAQ

Press Release 05-048 Point of Contact:
1stLt Eric M. Knapp, Public Affairs Officer
May 19, 2004 KnappEM@1mardivdm.usmc.mil


1st Marine Division Receives Donations To Start Up Television Stations

THE WAY AHEAD:

The 1st Marine Division is currently focused on destroying Anti-Iraqi Forces in the Al Anbar province. Simultaneously, the Marines are establishing patient, persistent presence in the key areas throughout the province while supporting the development of competent, trustworthy, Iraqi Security Forces and conducting civil military operations.

CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS:

RAMADI Marines and soldiers assigned to the 1st Marine Division received $85,000 worth of donated television and radio equipment from Spirit of America, a Los Angeles-based charity organization.

The donated equipment will be used to set up at least seven Iraqi Media Network television stations and some radio assets in Al Anbar Province to provide Iraqis a chance to create their own news organizations, and not rely on biased news broadcasted by Al Jazeera and others.

"Right now, the Iraqis are receiving a lot of their information via electronic media outlets," said Lt. Col. John Lutkenhouse, the civil affairs officer with the 1st Marine Division in charge of the project. "The principal message they're hearing is from people who don't want us to succeed, like the Al-Jazeera network. If we don't have something to balance out those messages, the people will be inclined to believe the false information."

The hardware is intended allow credible media to operate without censorship or undue influence. Once the Iraqi Media Network receives the gear, Coalition Forces will not have a say as to what can and cannot be covered. Still, there will be stipulations.

"This will not be a Coalition-controlled media outlet," said Lutkenhouse, from Sunnyvale, Calif. "However, they will be not be allowed to put out anti-Coalition propaganda."

More information can be found at http://www.spiritofamerica.net  and http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/oif


US Marines inventory approximately $85,000 in audio/visual equipment that will be used to create television and radio assets for Iraqi news stations (USMC Photo).

FALLUJAH Marines continue to assist Iraqis in contracting clean-up crews throughout the city. The civil affairs team in Fallujah delivered another 25 wheelbarrows, shovels and picks to assist in the effort.

Civil affairs contracted projects and the inception of the Fallujah Brigade have led to a total of 2456 new jobs in Fallujah since fighting ended in the city. That number grows daily.

Also in Fallujah, military lawyers worked approximately 80 claims on damages from the fighting in the city. The Marines have already paid out 120 claims to Iraqis, totaling $295,000. The 1st Marine Division is dedicated to working with the Iraqi Security Forces and the Al Anbar Provincial Council to help improve the quality of life and repair damage to the city of Fallujah.

-USMC-

 

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