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    4th Brigade, 203rd Corps assumes contracting, maintains facilities

    4th Brigade, 203rd Corps assumes contracting, maintains facilities

    Photo By Maj. Matthew Fontaine | U.S. Army Lt. Col. Glenn Kiesewetter, left, an engineer with the Garrison Support Unit...... read more read more

    LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army leaders with the 4th Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps, presented contractors from the local area with a new process to compete for lucrative projects, Sept. 3, on Camp Maiwand, Afghanistan.

    U.S. Army advisers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, worked with their Afghan partners, from the Garrison Support Unit, for six months to help them develop an honest and fair system for awarding contracts.

    As U.S. troop strength reduces over the next year, the Afghan forces will become increasingly responsible for building and maintaining their own facilities.

    Contracting, the process whereby local business leaders are informed about a required project and submit a bid for the job is critical to their ability to do just that.

    U.S. Army Lt. Col. Glenn Kiesewetter leads the group of advisers and attended the conference which included nine contractors and representatives from the 203rd Corps’ contracting office.

    “This is one of the first brigades in the Afghan army that has the lead in contracting,” said Kiesewetter, an engineer from Willard, Mo.

    ANA Col. Mohammad Malang, the 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps Garrison Support Unit commander, hosted the conference. He invited local contractors to learn how contracts will be awarded in the future.

    The GSU is responsible for basic life support systems across several bases. Services include water, maintenance, and sewer services. The contracts awarded will address these needs and allow soldiers to focus on their mission to provide security for the Afghan public.

    Kiesewetter credits ANA Col. Nasarullah Nasart, a facilities engineer with the GSU, for the unit’s contracting success. “He’s been a good influence … he’s our ringer,” said Kiesewetter.

    Nasart, who speaks English and Russian, transferred from the Ministry of Defense where he was an outspoken critic of the corruption that often hampers the contracting process.

    The new dining facility on Camp Maiwand is a great example of the ability of Afghans to award and manage a large construction project through contracting said Nasart.

    The 500-man facility, built for a third of what it would cost the U.S., is one of only a few in Afghanistan with modern features like air conditioning, commercial gas burners, marble floors, and inside cold storage. Construction started six months ago and the facility is expected to open as soon as the gas contract is finalized.

    ANA Maj. Naser, a GSU facility engineer, oversaw the construction to make sure the contractors didn’t cut corners in the new dining facility.

    For future contracts, the Afghan leadership will announce a project, accept multiple bids, review the contractors’ background and make a recommendation to the 203rd Corps, who will make the final decision.

    In the past, many contracts awarded by Afghans were done so through personal or familial relationships and corruption was all too common.

    The contractors in attendance listened intently, took notes and occasionally asked questions about the new process which is likely to have a significant impact on their livelihood.

    Several contractors addressed the group; expressing gratitude for the opportunity to compete for projects close to home and concern that previously awarded projects often went to foreigners.

    The vendors said the local contracts will benefit the people of Logar and Wardak, the provinces in which 4th Bde. 203rd Corps operates, by providing jobs and generating income for the local residents and generating revenue for the government.

    “Good contracting is rooted in fairness and honesty,” said Kiesewetter when he addressed the group.

    There are still issues to work through but Malang believes his unit is ready. “There will be no more corruption, we’ve learned better,” he said.



    Date Taken: 09.03.2013
    Date Posted: 09.05.2013 06:30
    Story ID: 113099
    Location: AF
    Hometown: WILLARD, MO, US

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