Army Materiel command "Eastern Expansion" underway at Bagram Airfield
September 2, 2008
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Aug. 20, 2008) Ac"a,! Growing families have a tendency to
spread out, and the Army Materiel Command family here is no exception.
As support requirements have matured, necessary logistics operations, from robotics to the Project Manager-Soldier Rapid Fielding Initiative, to a host of other AMC equipment maintenance and repair facilities have been established wherever suitable space could be found across the bustling Bagram Airfield landscape.
This unintended, yet operationally dictated, sprawl will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future says one of the key planners of the "Eastern Expansion Project" beginning to take shape on the south side of the airfield.
"The main reason for undertaking the eastern expansion is to consolidate AMC entities
in one location," said Maj. Chet Chiles, 401st Army Field Support Brigade staff engineer.
"We were able to obtain 30 acres for the first part of the expansion, which will include facilities like the Army Oil Analysis Program site, vehicle wash racks, the field
service maintenance shop and several others that currently are spread out across Bagram Airfield.
Site preparation is well underway, and the first two structures - the AOAP facility
and a Joint Counter Remote Controlled IED Electronic Warfare shop are
beginning to take shape, as power poles - an indicator that the eventual 6-megawatt
electrical requirement that comes with this growth will be met by "prime
power" a huge accomplishment all by itself - now stretch down the southernmost
edge of the current phase.
"Securing prime power has been a huge effort," said Chiles. "We have also been
able to leverage ongoing installation efforts to minimize cost to AMC, both in
the power side and the 100,000 cubic meters of fill dirt required to make the site
According to Childs, the fill, used primarily in and around the large "wadi" running through the middle of the site was procured from other construction sites on the airfield at no additional cost to the command.
"We will still have more fill to do as construction begins on the various structures, but obtaining the land, getting it cleared of mines and getting the fill material in there have been major successes," he said.
One of the additional benefits of the expansion will be construction of additional containerized housing units, known as CHU's, set to be placed near the brigade headquarters building in the western portion of the expansion, said Chiles.
"The plan is to add 198 CHU's, which should go along way towards easing congestion in our current housing, and hopefully improve quality of life for the Soldiers and Army civilians who are here for tours of a year, or in some cases, longer," he said.
Future plans call for practically all AMC assets, other Army directed logistics efforts like the various programs fielding new equipment here, and those that come in the future as the mission dictates, to be located in and around the expansion.
Chiles, who is also a geologist, rotates home in October. He says the project has been very rewarding largely due to the cooperation and assistance of the various agencies at Bagram that have had a hand in getting it approved and helped keep it moving forward.
"The most enjoyable part of the project, for me, has been working with the Facilities Engineer Team, the Mine Action Center, CJTF 101, AGS/AECOM, the Bagram Regional Contracting Center, and of course, our own 3rd Battalion," Chiles said,
For the members of the AMC community in Bagram, such support from the other elements here can't help but make deployed life a little better for those dedicated to making a difference while supporting the warfighter.