KANDAHAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has one mission in Afghanistan: to build strong! Each month, the Afghanistan Engineer District-South measures actual completed construction against a projected goal and in October the district exceeded its expectations.
The South District had a “placement” goal of $55 million, meaning that construction contractors on USACE projects invoiced the district for work that totaled $55 million.
“The district paid about $65 million for completed construction in October, which is $10 million more, or 117 percent of, our goal,” confirmed Nick Ash, the South District’s resource manager.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment by our district team,” said Army Col. Vincent Quarles, South District commander. “Our engineers and construction representatives out in the field are working effectively; they are pushing contractors and projects toward completion and I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m really proud of them and all our district employees who work together to get the mission done.”
The Afghanistan Engineer District-South expects to place about $960 million worth of construction during fiscal year 2013, Ash said. Included are facilities for Afghan National Security Forces in almost every province. These garrisons and facilities will enable the security forces to safeguard more of Afghanistan’s citizens.
“When we deliver facilities, we support the growth of the ANSF and enable the transitioning of security to the Afghan government,” said Quarles. “By building battalion-sized installations for Afghan soldiers and facilities for Afghan police, we enable them to work, live and train near the people they are committed to serving.”
The South District turned over three ANSF projects in October: a commando battalion near Herat, a Civil Order Police Special Support Battalion near Kandahar, and a district headquarters compound at Miramor in Daykundi province.
USACE’s sustainable development program gives Afghans access to infrastructure that is critical to building viable economies and livelihood.
“Projects like road paving, bridge and tunnel repair, utility upgrades, water resource projects, school and hospital construction all work together to set a good foundation for Afghanistan’s future,” Quarles continued.
Investing in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and overseeing projects that will improve the lives of Afghans is very rewarding, said Linda Murphy, the chief of South District’s water and infrastructure branch.
Murphy, who deployed from USACE Louisville District, in Louisville, Ky., and her team of project managers oversee more than 20 projects throughout Kandahar, Helmand and Herat provinces.
“The projects in my office range from electric power generation and distribution to water management and educational facility construction,” Murphy continued.
“For instance, the South District awarded a contract in late September to build a law library at Kandahar University. Giving students a high-quality place to study law is just one example of America’s contributions to Afghanistan’s future,” she said.
“All across Afghanistan USACE employees — military and civilian — are committed to building these projects and understand their value,” said Quarles. “We help move Afghanistan forward each time we move a construction project from the ‘under construction’ category to the ‘completed’ category and hand them over to those who will benefit.”
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