News: Seabees provide water to growing Kabul Compound
By Lt. j.g. Michael Dwyer
Joint Task Force Sapper
KABUL, Afghanistan – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 26 and 28 form the Task Force Coda water well team. This is a highly specialized team of Seabees that provide well repair, remediation and development service throughout Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan.
Lead by Chief Utilitiesman David Asbury, this team has mobilized at New Kabul Compound in order to drill a water well in support of the base’s ever increasing population. The Seabees will drill a well over 1,000 feet in depth. Working 24-hour days through shifts in the team, it is estimated to take four weeks to complete.
Recently, the team conducted on-site training for senior leaders of the 130th Engineer Brigade Headquarters. Training consisted of several stations that articulated the full capability of a water well team and their current mission objectives.
“This is a unique mission since our team has never dug a well on this base before,” said Asbury. “Other nations and contractors have dug wells on NKC, but not American forces.”
Due to this element, the project required significant data collection to ensure the safety of the soldiers involved in the project and to ensure no existing utilities would be damaged in the process.
Asbury continued, “This project is proving to be a great opportunity to teach everyone on the water well team a little something new.”
Task Force Coda is planned to partner with the Afghan National Army National Engineer Brigade’s water well team. The NEB will eventually be the only ANA unit trained and able to provide this vital skill to bases throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghan specialty engineers will work side by side with their Seabee partners to develop the necessary skills and experience needed to take over the mission later this year.
The Seabees, in keeping with their “can do” spirit, are eager and ready to show the NEB how to provide their brothers and sisters in arms with clean and safe water from the rugged mountains of Badakhshan to the deserts of Nimroz.