Building Strong: Corps employee manages construction projects in Afghanistan
August 15, 2011
- Louisville District employee Lynn Jarrett managed approximately $309 million worth of construction projects in Afghanistan during his six-month deployment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Managed projects that built district headquarters and border patrol facilities for the Afghan National Police program.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville District employee Lynn Jarrett went from managing environmental cleanup projects at formerly used defense sites to managing approximately $309 million worth of construction projects in Afghanistan. While stationed at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) during his six-month deployment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jarrett managed construction projects for the Afghan National Police (ANP), a section within the Afghan National Security Force.
“I managed projects, both pre-award and post-award, that built district headquarters for police and border patrol facilities,” said Jarrett. “We were building these facilities to house anywhere from 60 to 500 personnel in the ANP program.”
The projects were done in two phases. The first phase was the pre-award phase, which involved getting contracts awarded to build these structures. After contracts were awarded and contractors had been hired, the post-award phase would begin.
“What I found the most interesting was putting together all of the pieces that were necessary to get these facilities both contracted and then constructed afterwards,” said Jarrett. “I had to work with real estate, office of counsel, contracting, engineering, construction and the contractors. I also addressed the needs of the stakeholders, who, in this case were the Afghan National Police and their mentors.”
Jarrett worked on approximately 25 pre-award projects and 20 post-award projects, all of which were in different stages of completion. The projects he managed ranged from $5 million to $20 million and had to be completed at an accelerated rate.
“We worked 128 hours a pay period, 64 hours a week, and a lot of times even more than that in order to get things done,” said Jarrett. “It was a very expedited process.”
Jarrett managed projects in Kandahar, Uruzgan, Daykundi and Zabul provinces. A lot of the areas where projects were being built were extremely remote and required materials to be transported down dirt roads. All of the roads that Jarrett traveled on had to be cleared of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by a route clearance team, some of them also had to be physically cleared since they were unused.
“We went out a few times with the route clearance team,” said Jarrett. “We had to push up some dirt roads to access the facilities with MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle). It was a long and bumpy ride.”
In addition to having to clear the roads of IEDs, the property where these facilities were being constructed also had to be cleared of explosive devises.
“There always had to be mine clearance as a component of each of these contracts,” said Jarrett. “We had a mine clearance project manager and people who oversaw mine clearances to make sure it was done correctly and met USACE criteria.”
Prior to his deployment, Jarrett worked as a project manager in the Louisville District’s environmental branch, managing all Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) projects in the state of Ohio. During his deployment he was promoted and returned back to the district to serve as the program manager for the district’s Defense Logistics Agency Strategic Materials Program and project manager for the Inventory Project Reports (INPRs) for the FUDS program.
“My experience in Afghanistan was both interesting and challenging,” said Jarrett. "The construction we did is benefiting the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Afghan people and will for the foreseeable future. It was a privilege to contribute to the rebuilding and fortification of this war ravaged country. In addition, I personally acquired new skills and knowledge, from the deployment, that I can use in my current position. It is gratifying what a dedicated group of competent people can do in a short time when they stay focused."