News: Combat Service Support School: A lighthouse project in Afghanistan
Story by Todd Lyman
KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks warned during Operation Desert Storm, “Forget logistics, you lose.”
U.S. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert H. Barrow said in 1980: “Amateurs think about tactic, but professionals think about logistics.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic District North (TAN) recently turned over a project that has the potential to improve the logistical capabilities of Afghan National Security Forces for many years.
Eddie Pena, project engineer with TAN from USACE Seattle District, said, "Combat Service Support School, valued at $14M was awarded to a local Afghan firm Kahkashan Balkh Building and Road Construction Company [KBCC], that was successful in completing early and with very good quality. Fifteen buildings were built as part of this contract to accommodate approximately 1100 students and staff.”
Pena continued, “The interesting aspect of this project is that the infrastructure and site grading were planned to be provided by two separate contracts; the Human Resource Finance School Project contract which is responsible for 21 buildings and for the overall site grading, installation of the storm sewer mains, water distribution system, sewage collection system and wastewater treatment and is still under construction. The power for the CSSS was to be provided under the HR Finance School Power Plant project which to date has been completed on time. However, the contractor brought in spot generation to perform final inspection and testing of the buildings systems because the HR Finance Power Plant was not ready to be placed online when the CSSS contractor scheduled final inspections. KBCC did this in order to turn the project over early. The facilities constructed are as follows: 4 two-story barracks, two laundry facilities, three administration facilities, three classroom buildings, one latrine, one facility management building and one shelter transport inspection building."
Frank Albert, from the USACE Huntington District, has been the project manager for the CSSS project since early this year. He added, “Both companies worked well together.”
Capt. Holger Schmidt, chief of staff, German Armed Forces Technical Advisory Group, Afghanistan, explained the anticipated use of the Combat Service Support School complex.
“Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police will train their enlisted personnel in all areas of logistics [transportation, supply, cooking and field kitchen operation] and weapons and vehicle maintenance. Also, driver and operator courses for up-armored vehicles and large trucks and forklift and wrecker operations will be offered. The maximum training capacity will be up to 1,750 students.
Schmidt added, “The CSS School is the biggest and most complex ANA branch school. The site is very modern. Besides network connectivity in all classroom buildings, staff buildings and even the officer and NCO accommodation buildings, all rooms are equipped with A/C and heating split units and ceiling fans. Additionally the buildings are insulated. The whole site is fully independent. There are all essential supplies, such as power plant, deep source fresh water well and waste water treatment plant, on site.
“The project shows clearly the willingness of coalition forces to provide the ANA a long-lasting, modern infrastructure for an independent future. We as the coalition force can be proud about what has been achieved. From a German perspective the ANA CSS School is a lighthouse project in Afghanistan that received around 30 percent of all German donations to the ANA Trust Fund for 2009-2012.”
The new Combat Service Support School is a structure that would likely please Franks and Barrow.