News: FOB in a Box
A forward operating base, divided into two pieces, is being built by Naval Mobility Construction Battalion 18 just outside of Kandahar Airfield on Lindsey II to support NATO forces and the mission in Afghanistan.
The front half of the base is being built from structures emplaced before NMCB 18 began construction on the location in June 2010. The structures were built about five years ago by local nationals and then abandoned. The Seabees assessed the buildings and began to remodel each structure.
“The Seabees are a group of the military that builds living spaces for all our infantry and other service members,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Mueeller, NMCB 18 construction, electrician.
More than 15 sailors work 10-14 hours a day to complete this project and Afghan nationals are contracted to deliver the materials for the gravel roads and concrete pads.
“Out in the field we do a lot of work on generators, distributing power to camps and tents,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Derrick Waite, NMCB 18 construction, electrician. “If there’s no electrical work to do, I pretty much become a builder. Here, they brought be out here for electrical work. I like what I do, I’ve always liked electrical work and I’ve done it since I was a kid. So it’s good, I like it.”
On the other side of a wall is the Force Provider camp, the name of the tent system used at this particular FOB. The system is a state-of the-art series of large boxes use to make a quick FOB; each box contains different pieces that complete the system. A kitchen would be in one box where as a restroom and shower would be in another. The end result is a hi-tech camp equipped with all of the comforts of a normal camp, which can be built in 1-2 weeks depending on the number of personnel installing.
This “FOB in a box” is going to be used as the accommodations for service members staying on Lindsey II. The Seabees and local Afghans worked for four weeks making concrete bunkers and platforms for the quick-place buildings and are almost finished with the project.
“We do our job so that everybody else can do their job,” said Mueeller. “We like to do the best we can so that we can thank the people that are giving their lives for us. So we like to give them the best thing to come back to.”