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AFGHANISTNA — Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer district-commander(second from left), and Mike Fellenz (center), the Farah Resident Office project engineer, discuss the status of construction at Camp Sayar, in Farah province Nov. 30, 2011.

AFGHANISTNA — Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer district-commander(second from left), and Mike Fellenz (center), the Farah Resident Office project engineer, discuss the status of construction at Camp Sayar, in Farah province Nov. 30, 2011. (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

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Posted 1/20/2012

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By Karla Marshall
Afghanistan Engineering District-South


KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Getting projects completed in Afghanistan is challenging, but the Afghanistan Engineer District-South set a goal of completing or "placing" almost $190 million worth of construction for the first quarter, 2012 and placed $188 million, which equals 99 percent of that goal.

The South District exceeded its December goal by placing more than $64 million worth of construction, or 105.3 percent.

"Placement is essentially the amount we pay contractors for accomplishing work toward completing projects," said Donny Davidson, the acting chief of construction at the South District and deployed from Memphis, Tenn. "It is a true measure of our execution success and equates to work toward completing projects."

Two projects were finished in December: a troop medical center for the Afghan National Army at Camp Zafar near Herat for $1.67 million and a wadi crossing at the Afghan National Army's Camp Hero near Kandahar City valued at $621,491.00.

The South District Commander, Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham said that construction placement is only one third of the accomplishment; project managers and contracting officers set the conditions for current placement success and for the execution of contracts during fiscal year 2012.

The South District's fiscal year 2012 construction program is valued at more than $2.1 billion, and requires an execution plan that is very aggressive, said Wham. "The district must meet each month's goal to complete all planned projects before U.S. and coalition forces transfer the mission of providing security to Afghan forces."

U.S. and coalition forces will hand over the security mission in Afghanistan to Afghan army and police units in 2014. "We have a finite amount of time for an enormous construction program. Construction placement measures how well we are getting things built, but we are also working hard to contract for well over a $1 billion in additional work this fiscal year," said Wham. "The district team has been pushing hard to meet our interim goals and I'm proud of their accomplishments this quarter."