Lt. Col. Noel Cardenas, cmdr of the 421st Multifunctional Bn, said he wanted to highlight the collaborative effort it took to get the TMC where it is today. "The clinic went through a renovation just a few months ago," said Cardenas. "The clinic increased from zero fixed-treatment rooms to 6, and increased the emergency response and medical evacuation capacity by 100%."
Cardenas said staffing is a mutual effort between Soldiers from the 16th Sust Bde and TF 1st Medical Bde. "The mutual efforts between our units increased the clinical capability of this clinic," said Cardenas. Lt. Col. Christopher Chun, the cmdr of the 16th STB, said the 16th Sust. Bde. completed the renovations in 6 months.
Capt. Avery Carney, cmdr of the 601st Area Support Medical Co, said the process to rename the clinic started in July. "We submitted a point paper, which is a justification on who he was and then it had to go up the chain to MNC-I, and was approved in a month," said Carney. "We also had to contact his family for their blessing." Carney said the West family gathered the same day as the dedication in honor of their son. "We're proud that this facility is named after him," said Carney. "We're putting together a care package with a DVD of the ceremony to send to his family."
Chun said the ceremony was done well and had a positive affect on the morale of the clinic staff, especially when it was named after a medic they knew. "It provides a sense of permanence to the clinic and reminds us all of the importance of remembering the sacrifices that our fellow Soldiers make every day," said Chun. "It was also important to the Soldier's family that they were made a part of the process."
Sgt. Patrick Lucas, team chief of the command post node, A Co, 72nd ESB, who is assigned to COB Bernstein, and West's best friend attended the ceremony. Lucas said C.J. would've been proud of the ceremony and renaming. "His family wanted me to be here today, and I'm glad it was able to happen,'" said Lucas. "C.J. was a great guy. Everybody wanted to be around him, and I know he's looking down and would be proud of this day."
Sgt. Jerry Jacob, a medic with the 601st, said he and West went through basic training, advanced individual training, and Abn School together. He suggested West's name for the facility. "Our mission here is to serve others and help them feel better; that is exactly what kind of person C.J. was," said Jacob. "During the deployment, his picture will be right here looking over me, reminding me why I am here. It's more than just a name. It's an inspiration to do your best every day."
The plant employs approx 300 people, but plant mgt has asked the Ministry of Oil and Electricity to allow them to employ more engrs. They've also asked for more equipment - a bucket truck, a crane and 4 pickup trucks – to boost their efficiency.
By Multi-National Corps-Iraq PAO
By Multi-National Division - North PAO
(Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Carmichael Yepez)
Army Maj. Randy Smith, an info officer, assigned to 3rd Bde, 1st Cav Div, looks out of the cabin of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during a leaflet drop mission over northern Iraq, Sept. 25.
An Iraqi woman smiles at 82nd Abn Div Soldiers and INP during a patrol outside of FOB Salie, near Baghdad, Sept. 8, 2009.
Spc. Adam Lowe (center), 1st Cav Div, gives pointers about room clearing to Iraqi Soldiers at a COP, Sept. 28.