Building a System That Would Work for Iraq
Plockmeyer focused on making sure that modules could be added that would monitor the health of oil pipelines and would alert authorities to a drop in pressure caused by mechanical failure or sabotage. The coalition's asset management system was also able to capture data from remote diagnostic and management technologies being built in some of the newer Iraqi buildings. Plockmeyer said that some of the construction blueprints he had seen called for utility plants to incorporate advanced supervisory control and data acquisition technologies - a first in Iraq.
Coalition officials wanted to introduce the asset management system to Iraqi administrators in small doses. For example, the system was built to manage the building of the electricity sector around Baghdad and then later to all of Iraq.
After four years, Plockmeyer and I believe the progress the coalition made in Iraq has been largely obscured by news that focuses mostly on the day-to-day violence. The list of projects completed or initiated under the coalition's watch - and managed through the asset management system - is lengthy. Each week, about $75 million in new construction work begins on projects ranging from water treatment and waste management systems to new schools.
Ever present in a war zone like Iraq was the threat of attacks on coalition personnel and any Iraqis working with them. Even from the living quarters, personnel could hear and feel the rockets and mortar shells that Iraqi insurgents occasionally fired into the green zone. The violence did not delay the implementation of the core asset management system. Plockmeyer said the following about my work:
"Lucks made sure that the Internet access was widely available so that the modules were fully utilized by some of the more far flung Iraqi ministry outposts and saved $2 million in operating expenses."