Djiboutian residents honor CJTF-HOA for assistance;;

13 May 2003 | Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

Residents here held a reception May 10 to thank the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Commander and troops for repairing the water system at their school.

Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler, CJTF-HOA commander, and several high-ranking military and civilian officials from Djibouti and the United States were in attendance, including: Donald Y. Yamamoto, the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti; Brig. Gen. Zakaria Cheik Ibrahim, deputy chief of Djiboutian armed forces; and Abdi Issa, chief of Djibouti district.

For the past few weeks, Maj. Chuck Risio, the project manager in charge of repairing the school's water system, his team of engineers, CJTF-HOA volunteers, and Dorale citizens worked diligently to install the new system, which includes a new pump, cistern (holding tank) and nearly 120 meters of piping.

According to Army Staff Sgt. James King, CJTF-HOA engineer plans chief, the new cistern is capable of storing 670 gallons of water, which benefits both the school and the local residents.

Ali Assoweh Wais, the head tribal chief of Dorale, personally thanked Sattler and the CJTF-HOA troops "a hundred times over" for support to the village of approximately 500. Besides repairing the school's water system, CJTF-HOA service members have also provided medical care to the villagers, donated much needed supplies and spent time playing soccer with the youngsters here.

"What you have given to us is very much appreciated. Because of your kindness, we welcome you all with open arms. Those who do good for us, we will do good for them," exclaimed Wais, as he shook Sattler's hand firmly.

With that, Sattler made a few comments to Wais and the crowd of service members and villagers.

He said, "I have to say that you are welcome a hundred times over. The men and women of CJTF-HOA have put their heart and soul into this village and the great country of Djibouti, which has stood beside the Coalition on the war against terrorism. We promised Djibouti's President (Ismail Omar) Guelleh that we would give something back to Djibouti for their support and help. Being able to help Dorale, has been a great opportunity for us to give back."

Headquarters Marine Corps