News: Completed USACE project is new home for Afghan warriors
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers, Regional Command South U.S. Marines, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel gathered to celebrate completion of the Afghan National Army's Mobile Strike Force facility at Camp Shorabak during a ribbon-cutting ceremony here Aug. 24.
International Security Assistance Force reports that Afghan National Security Forces now lead 80 percent of all combat missions. USACE Transatlantic Afghanistan District (TAA) personnel oversee construction of projects, like the critical infrastructure at Camp Shorabak, which support the Afghans in their efforts to secure and stabilize their homeland.
Approximately 75 spectators cheered as Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Sayed Malook, who commands the 215th Corps from his base of operations in Helmand, and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Walter Lee Miller, commander of Regional Command Southwest, cut the ribbon stretching across the entrance to the project, signaling the turnover of the new facility to the MSF. The MSF has been aggressively leading combat missions here for more than six months.
“Troops need adequate settings in which to live, work and train,” said U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Cliff Conklin, member of the project delivery team as officer in charge at the TAA Helmand Resident Office. “That is precisely what the MSF facility provides.”
Throughout the district's area of operations, USACE engineers have overseen construction of barracks, classrooms, obstacle courses, training ranges, armories, medical clinics, electrical distribution systems, sanitary sewer collection systems, antiterrorism/force protection features, and more to support the development of the Afghan National Security Forces.
“It is gratifying to see that our soldiers will be living and working in such good facilities,” said Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Sayed Malook through an interpreter.
The MSF facility will accommodate approximately 600 personnel and complements adjacent USACE projects that will, in all, accommodate approximately 1,600 troops.
“We want to set the Afghans up for success,” said Debra Ford, USACE TAA project manager for the MSF facility. Ford deployed to Afghanistan from USACE Los Angeles District.
“Building quality facilities will go a long way toward that goal,” she said.