By Karla Marshall
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South oversaw the construction of and turned over a new Afghan Border Police Headquarters compound in Farah province Feb. 16, 2012.
"This project was really unique," said Michael Fellenz, the Farah Resident Office engineer and construction representative. "Because of the location and security situation, USACE's American employees never stepped foot on the project site before we turned it over. Our Afghan project engineers and quality assurance representatives totally managed on-site activities."
Like other similar facilities constructed for the Afghan Border Police, this $6.6 million compound contains an administration building, barracks, a dining facility, laundry and latrine facilities, storage, a guard shack, gate house and perimeter wall.
"The project was awarded in June 2010 and a notice to proceed was issued July 22," said Fellenz a Buffalo, N.Y. native. "Construction was a little slow due to security and remoteness, but overall the Pro-Built Construction Firm delivered an acceptable facility."
Infrastructure improvements include fuel storage, generators, vehicle refueling points, a potable water source, sewage and storm water collection and treatment, roads, parking areas and sidewalks.
"It is good to get another project off the books," said Jeff Usavage the South District's Afghan National Police program manager and Wellsboro, Penn. native. "This project in particular is a success because our Afghan employees were able to do the hard work. They were the primary day-to-day USACE interface with the contractor."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employs more than 40 Afghan engineers throughout southern Afghanistan. By giving them opportunities to work alongside their American counterparts, they have learned the skills necessary to be Afghanistan's construction industry leaders, said U.S. Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham, the south District Commander.
"I am really proud of the team who worked together to finish this border police station," Wham said. "The Afghan border police now have a quality facility that will serve them well into the future and the people of Farah province will benefit from better security."