BAGHDAD, July 17 (UPI) -- Nearly 4,000 Iraqi citizens are working with U.S.-led forces on service contracts to provide logistics support for the reconstruction effort, officials said.
The U.S.-led Multi-National Forces-Iraq employs a program dubbed Iraqi First LOGCAP, a military logistics support contract system using Iraqi contractors, vendors and employees to service logistics needs in the country, said Maj. Gen. Tim McHale, director for personnel, logistics and resources for MNF-I.
"To accomplish our mission, the coalition buys goods and services from business contractors. Iraqi First is about directing the purchase of needed goods and services to Iraqi people and Iraqi suppliers," he said.
The director said the program is the largest service contract in Iraq, with more than $182 million in purchases for 2007 and 3,700 Iraqi employees, up from 2,600 in March.
The program uses skilled laborers in the construction, carpentry and other vocational trades to help rebuild Iraq. Beyond the workforce, the program uses the technological assistance of the Iraqis in the area of plastics manufacturing, among other fields, McHale said.
"The goal is to have Iraqi workers and Iraqi suppliers (be) a significant part of our military-logistics support," he said.