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    US Army Corps of Engineers build Afghan National Army base in the shadow of Alexander the Great



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Afghanistan District

    CAMP MARMAL, Afghanistan – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is completing the construction of a $24.5 million military base facility in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in support of the Afghanistan National Army 2-209th Corps. This will be the first major military base built in the Kunduz province since 328 BC when the Greeks built a similar garrison nearby in what is known today as Ai Khanum.

    Alexander the Great arrived in Afghanistan in 330 BC leaving a trail of battlefield victories and conquered cities in his wake. However, as much as Alexander is known as a great wager of war, his engineering legacy is not so heralded.

    For example, many recognize Alexandria, Egypt, as a namesake city for Alexander the Great. But many may be surprised to realize Alexander built cities known today as Gaza, Palestine and Tyre, Lebanon.

    In fact, according to his personal public affairs officer Plutarch, Alexander built over 70 cities based on the Greek architecture and engineering standards. These cities served not only as political and cultural centers but also provided logistical and security support to Alexander’s offensive campaign.

    In Afghanistan, Alexander’s army built major garrisons in Herat, Farah, Kandahar, Charikar, and Ai Khanum. Ai Khanum was Alexander’s northern base in Afghanistan built in 328 BC with supporting garrisons in Shebergen, Balkh, Kholm, Pol-e Khomri, Heraton and Dashly.

    Alexander’s bases initially supported stability operations then transitioned to enabling civil authority as Alexander integrated Greek control and Hellenistic culture into local society. The results of which can still be seen today amongst tribes such as the Kalash in eastern Afghanistan who claim roots to Alexander and his Greek army.

    Today, like Alexander, the International Security and Assistance Force has built over 400 military bases and garrisons throughout Afghanistan to support stability operations and are now enabling civil authorities such as the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to assume responsibility for and control of these facilities to provide security for the citizens of Afghanistan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has served as ISAF’s primary construction agent to accomplish this significant infrastructure strategic objective.

    One of these Afghan National Security Force bases is located in Kunduz, Afghanistan, to support the ANA 2-209th Garrison. The new base integrates modern building codes with local culture functionality providing a sustainable facility for ANA facility engineers to provide security and contingency response for Afghans living in the Kunduz province region, including those living at Ai Khanum along the Amu Darya River.

    “The Corps of Engineers are constructing bases for the Afghan National Army meeting modern international building codes,” USACE Project Engineer Joanna Lopez said. “With proper maintenance, many of these facilities could function for 10, 20, even up to 50 years before requiring major reconstruction. The metal K-span buildings have roof lives that could last up to 100 years or more.”

    As the mission in Afghanistan transitions to an advise and assist mission combined with a reduction in forces, the ownership, operation, and maintenance of the military bases are also in transition over to Afghan security forces. These facilities built by the Corps of Engineers will last for many years providing ANSF the key infrastructure needed to protect local communities and ensure national security for a long time to come.

    Perhaps in 4314 AD, archeologists will discover Camp Pamir in Kunduz and raise curiosities on how 21st century engineers built such bases to support ISAF and ANSF forces. That certainly sheds a different light on sustainability for military engineers to think about!



    Date Taken: 11.20.2014
    Date Posted: 11.26.2014 05:55
    Story ID: 148879
    Location: CAMP MARMAL, AF 

    Web Views: 839
    Downloads: 0