Afghan engineers learn basic carpentry skills
Afghan National Air Force engineers learn how to use basic tools while constructing work benches and sawhorses during carpenters' tool box training, Dec. 8, 2011, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The engineers learned basic carpentry skills in preparation for a six-month on-the-job training program, which begins in January.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Dec. 28, 2011) -- The sounds of pounding hammers and the smell of sawdust permeate the senses at the Kandahar Air Wing headquarters on Kandahar Airfield.

About two dozen new Afghan Air Force engineers take turns using saws, tape measures and other basic tools while learning basic carpentry skills in a class called "carpenters' tool box training."

The training is designed to prepare them for their official on the job training, said Navy Builder 2nd Class Matt Bettes, civil engineer adviser for Regional Command-South.

"Right now, we're emphasizing tool safety and work-site safety," he explained.

The six-month on-the-job training, or OJT, starts in January.

"Proficiency with tools is important for quality work and safe usage," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Crowe, team leader for Infrastructure Training and Advisory Group-South.

Crowe's team is responsible for training Afghan National Security Forces engineers to maintain their facilities.

"This gives the engineers an early start at using the tools they'll see in their OJT program and will allow them to progress through OJT with minimal trouble," said Crowe.

Today the engineers are learning the basics, working on small projects, constructing work benches and saw horses.

The OJT will allow them to expand their carpentry talents, and develop plumbing and electrical skills as well.

According to Crowe, most of the new Afghan National Army engineers have either no, or very limited education, skills and training.

"Most of them don't like to sit in a classroom, but anytime you can get them out working, when you can show them how, they're excited to learn new skills," Crowe said.

"Once they're done, the idea is for them to be able to stand up a camp maintenance shop and be able to respond to trouble calls," said Bettes.

Page last updated Wed December 28th, 2011 at 00:00