Multi-million dollar complex for Afghan army coming together
December 22, 2011
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Dec. 22, 2011) -- Since May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South has been overseeing construction of a $63.3 million brigade complex for the Afghan National Army's 207th Corps at Camp Sayar in Farah province.
"This complex consists of utilities infrastructure, housing, maintenance facilities, recreational areas, a helicopter pad, office buildings and roads to accommodate seven battalions," said Michael Fellenz, the project engineer. "The contractor, ECC International LLC, is slightly ahead of schedule and is almost done with the design submittals. They are well underway on the foundations, perimeter wall and other utility projects, so we anticipate the compound will be completed about this time next year."
Of the 135 total buildings that will comprise the compound, 90 are arch-span designs.
"The contractor began erecting the arch-span buildings November 31st, and they've got steel arriving daily," Fellenz said. "There are more than 1,086 tons of steel and 40,000 square meters of sandwich panels on site and the contractor has the manpower to maintain our aggressive schedule."
Arch-span construction is just one of the ways USACE is working to save time and money on quality construction. It requires fewer workers, construction is not weather dependent because there are no concrete curing issues, and the steel's exterior is already painted.
In addition, Fellenz or a USACE quality assurance representative is on the project site daily to keep the project moving forward and resolve issues as they arise.
"We had some difficulty in the beginning with the logistics of moving personnel and materials onto the project site, but the garrison commander got involved and works with us to resolve problems," said Capt. Sean Burnett, the Farah Resident Office officer in charge. "Having that working relationship with the garrison commander and the workers has made resolving issues easier."
According to Bill Stout, the South District's chief of construction, using arch-span construction will enable the ANA to field soldiers faster because buildings can be turned over as they are completed rather than waiting for the entire compound to be finished.
"We will deliver buildings at intervals, which helps the ANA train their forces faster, so the whole country benefits."