By J.D. Hardesty
Afghanistan Engineer District-North
KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a $5 million flood control project constructed to protect the Afghanistan National Army 201st Corps garrison at Gamberi from devastation.
Lakeshore, who built the flood control project located in Laghman Province, was joined by members from the Afghanistan National Army 201st Corps, USACE, the director of Public Works and other civic and provincial leaders and stakeholders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the project's completion, June 17, 2012.
After a local Imam blessed the project, an ANA official thanked everyone for their contributions to the success of the ANA mission. The ceremonial ribbon was cut into many pieces and passed as souvenirs. Many in the crowd applauded as the first cars drove across the new bridge. The old bridge will be demolished and removed.
Constructed by Detroit-based Lakeshore Toltest JV LLC., the Wadi Mitigation and Outer Perimeter Road project was built after the garrison experiences two back-to-back 100-year floods in 2009 and 2010. A 100-year flood is often described as flooding that is expected to exceed water levels every 100 years on average, thus there is a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any single year.
"The project was designed to capture rain runoff from the surrounding hills and channel it to a nearby river before it runs through the garrison," noted Maj. James Thompson, officer-in-charge of the Afghanistan Engineer District-North's Gamberi Resident Office. "The diversion ditch is lined with concrete to enhance its long-term sustainability by allowing ANA to remove any silt build-ups after major rains."
The Corps' Afghanistan Engineer District-North focus is to complete and transfer projects to Afghanistan National Security Forces control as coalition partners look to pull troops out by the end of 2014.
Since 2008, the district has completed more than 500 projects worth $2.3 billion comprised of facilities and infrastructure to support the Afghan National Police and Army, Coalition Forces and various Afghanistan ministries. The district has an additional 323 projects valued at $2.7 billion currently under construction.
In addition the wadi mitigation and outer perimeter road project originally awarded in January 2011, a new bridge was added to the contract to replace a bridge in poor shape that ran under the road outside the garrison.
The Corps of Engineers is the primary organization building military bases, police stations, roads, air strips and other infrastructure projects in Afghanistan to increase the country's stability, security and economy.
In addition to providing ANSF training facilities, border stations, barracks, dining facilities and other quality of life infrastructure, the district implemented a capacity development program, which creates business opportunities as evidenced by the Afghan-based construction firms receiving contract awards. The impact directly supports coalition counterinsurgency objectives while simultaneously increasing security and stability across northern Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan Engineer District-North and its five area offices manage construction projects spread across the districts 21-provincial operating footprint in northern Afghanistan. The district is headquartered in Kabul and is one of the Transatlantic Division's two districts in Afghanistan managing construction projects on behalf of host governments, Defense Department agencies and non-Defense federal agencies.
The district workforce is comprised of military service members, deployed civilian volunteers, private contractors and local Afghan workers, serve as the primary organization building army bases, police stations, roads, airstrips and other infrastructure, while providing critical capacity building, stability and security while supporting U.S. and coalition forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.
Beyond construction management, the district also supports Coalition Forces counterinsurgency efforts to 30 Provincial Reconstruction Teams by providing embedded USACE engineers armed with the expertise to support the NATO-led efforts within the northern part of the country -- Regional Command-East, Regional Command-North and Regional Command-Capital.