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    608th Construction Management Team retrograde Afghanistan

    608th Construction Management Team retrograde Afghanistan

    Photo By Sgt. Adam Erlewein | Local nationals contracted to assist with the retrograde and de-scoping operations in...... read more read more

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN

    12.31.2014

    Story by Sgt. Adam Erlewein 

    4th Sustainment Brigade

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the 608th Engineer Detachment, Construction Management Team, 4th Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade have been spearheading retrograde missions all over Afghanistan. Their primary mission was to assist with the closing and transfers of Forward Operating Bases, manage and schedule de-scoping projects, and to provide guidance to higher headquarters during the resizing of all FOBs in Regional Commands South, Southwest, East, North, and in the capitol.

    With Soldiers, civilians, and equipment retrograding out of Afghanistan some of the structures that do not meet certain requirements such as safety, security and longevity have to be de-scoped by engineers to prevent waste and utilize those materials for other projects.

    Lt. Col. Mark L. Ogburn a native of Sanford, North Carolina, and the commander of the 608th CMT, said that the they have made a huge impact on the retrograde missions in Afghanistan by assisting with the transfer of FOBs and countless other de-scoping projects.

    “We have assisted with de-scoping about 27 different bases in the CJOA-A (Combined Joint Operations Area- Afghanistan) and either transferred or closed all of those 27,” said Ogburn. “We also have completed over 700 other engineering projects on top of the FOB transfers."

    During the 608th CMT’s deployment they utilized local nationals, who go through a screening process before being escorted onto the FOB to assist with the deconstruction of structures. This gave the local nationals a chance to learn how to salvage building parts and learn valuable skills that will assist in possibly creating job opportunities in their local areas.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Candia L. Rizzo, a Londonderry, New Hampshire, native, and the acting deputy commanding officer for the 608th Engineers stated that these opportunities provide a chance for the locals to learn valuable trades.

    “By using the locals we are teaching them a trade in a way and initiating an interest while also providing for their families. Then if they have a real interest in it, once we are all gone some of them may want to start their own construction business,” said Rizzo. “It is just another way of helping out.”

    Engineers also found ways to save the tax payers money by utilizing a "No Cost Contract," which allows locals living near the surrounding FOBs to assist Soldiers with the deconstruction of buildings and structures after they have been cleared of any sensitive materials. This type of service benefits coalition forces with the overall cost of the de-scoping mission and helps the locals who can take some materials, mainly wood, to warm their homes, or help build and repair their homes.

    Sgt. 1st Class Raymond L. Ostrowski a Bedminster, New Jersey, native said that the "No Cost Contracts" are extremely helpful in the retrograde operations and the hard work of the locals make this possible.

    “The benefit of this is that we are getting someone to take the lumber away and it isn’t costing the government any money, and we are building the relationships within the community by providing them something that they need,” said Ostrowski.

    Ogburn said that he is proud of being a part of the de-scoping missions in Afghanistan and accomplishing what had never been done before, utilizing only two engineer battalions to assist with retrograding all of Afghanistan.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.31.2014
    Date Posted: 12.31.2014 10:46
    Story ID: 151272
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 
    Hometown: BEDMINSTER, NJ, US
    Hometown: FORT HOOD, TX, US
    Hometown: MANCHESTER, NH, US
    Hometown: MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ, US
    Hometown: SANFORD, NC, US
    Hometown: VICKSBURG, MS, US

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