Hospital renovations dedicated in Tadjoura

6 Jan 2004 | Lance Cpl. Adam C. Schnell

Personnel from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and many local community members came together to celebrate the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on the newly renovated Tadjoura Medical Hospital here Jan. 6.

The $60,000 project, one of the largest in the region, was paid for by CJTF-HOA and will now expand care to the nearly 55,000 people.

“We provide care to about 150 people a day, the renovations made here in the past three months were much needed,” said Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Adour, director of the Tadjoura Medical Hospital.

The renovations couldn’t have come at a better time, continued Adour, who has been the director at the hospital for two years. It can now provide emergency care that was done before in Djibouti City, a three-hour drive from here.

The renovations were done through a local contacted company, Mer Rouge Enterprise. The company won the project through a process of finding the correct company to perform the work needed.

“A contract is advertised to companies with the community where the renovations are being done,” said Army Capt. Reuben L. McCoy, operations officer for the battalion. “Each company will place a bid stating how much money they can do the project for and the companies are researched on the quality of work done in the past.”

The company awarded the contract works with CJTF-HOA civil affairs and engineers to complete the renovations needed. They also work together to make sure each mission is done in a timely manner.

The contracted company not only kept high standards when completing the restoration but also went beyond the call along with 30 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The volunteers painted parts of the buildings not in the contract and spent several extra days and dollars to complete these additional donations.

“This was a great cooperative effort,” said Army Maj. Ralph M. Engeler, commanding officer for C Company, 478th Civil Affairs Battalion. “ Not only for the U.S., but the community as well.”

The hospital renovations also mark a beginning to completed civil military operations in the northern region of Djibouti, said Engeler. One of the main missions of the civil affairs battalion is to make sure help is given to all of the country evenly, not just one region.

“We’ve had a lot of missions completed in the southern part of the country, but this is really only the second one in the north,” added Engeler.

The renovations made to the hospital included the maternity ward, pediatrics building, pharmacy, bathrooms and an administration building. The repairs included replacing doors, windows, fans, and repairing plumbing and exterior lighting.

“Another big repair that was made was the fence that surrounded the hospital,” said McCoy.

This dedication also marks a huge victory in helping to complete CJTF-HOA’s mission to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorism in the region. The project was successful in building many long-term relations with the U.S. military and the district of Tadjoura.

“Before this people here thought of the United States as just a powerful military force, now the community has built many very close relationship with the Americans that helped out on these projects,” said Adour.

For the civil affairs company, completing this project also signifies a near end to their eight-month tour in support of CJTF-HOA.

In his speech during the ceremony, Army Col. Charles E. Sumpter, director of logistics for CJTF-HOA ended by saying, “By doing this project and others like it, the United States, a compassionate nation, has established a spirit of cooperation and partnership with the district of Tadjoura and Djibouti that will last for years.”

Headquarters Marine Corps