INTRODUCTION: 'Operation Bright Star' the United States long-range military manoeuvres has recently been staged in several Middle East and African countries, including Somalia.
GV Transport vehicles
GV Water purification unit with operators (3 shots)
GV & SV Road construction and repair work (2 shots)
GV & SV Gravel being levelled out on road (2 shots)
GV Tractor and tanker
SV PAN US soldiers with Somalian boys playing harmonica (2 shots)
GV PAN Local bus using repaired road
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: 'Operation Bright Star' the United States long-range military manoeuvres has recently been staged in several Middle East and African countries, including Somalia. The 'Bright Star' concept was designed to demonstrate that American troops could go into action within 24 hours, anywhere in the world. It was also to test the effectiveness of co-operation between the participating nations.
SYNOPSIS: An important aspect of any military operation is the supply of fresh water. Troops in the front lines are dependent on support units for food, drink and other necessities. Water must be purified for drinking and this purification unit is capable of turning around 80 cubic feet (600 US gallons) of sea water into fresh. It was shipped to Somalia on a United States navy cargo ship, along with 25 items of heavy duty construction pieces. Most of the soldiers manning the equipment came from an engineering battalion based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Producing fresh water was only part of their task. Roads had to be repaired or constructed to get the supplies to the battlefield. Periodic flooding in Somalia had caused washaways on many of the roadways -- and in the other extreme, dried out river beds had to be traversed. The work done by the army engineers will be of benefit to the deal communities, long after the manoeuvres are cover. Repairs were also made to exiting water facilities as well as the many roads in the area.
About 250 U.S. servicemen were involved in the long-range logistical support operation. As well as the construction battalion, men of the airborne medical corps formed a medical and surgical hospital unit (M.A.S.H.).
The driver of this bus, using a newly repaired road, said 'Operation Bright Star' had been good for Somalia in more ways than one.