By Maj. Robert J. Schultz
426th Civil Affairs Battalion
DAHUK, Iraq (USASOC News Service, Dec. 29, 2004) — High atop a hillside in northern Iraq is a television tower that is now broadcasting the latest stories and updates to a wide array of viewers within the region.
The television station that owns the tower, Kurdistan TV, is one of the most widely viewed and popular channels within the Kurdish region of the country.
The station began operation on May 3, 1992, and was the first station in the region. At that time, the Kurdish region of northern Iraq had just completed ousting members of the Baath party and destroying the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s army, which had brought chaos and disarray to the region for many years. With 13 volunteers and 4 cameras, the station began to produce interviews with key leaders of the Kurdish government to provide updated information to people within the region about changes and progress taking place.
Today, with more than 100 employees, nine operative towers and nine cameramen who work three shifts to ensure adequate coverage, the station remains the most widely viewed station in northern Iraq, where 70 percent of the people within the region receive the station’s broadcast. Although the coverage and reception throughout the area is good, more personnel, more cameras, more towers and better equipment are needed for the organization to reach its broadcast goals.
To help address those concerns, the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion, an Army
Reserve special operations unit from Upland, Calif., currently deployed to
Iraq, traveled to the station to help the Kurdish broadcasters meet those