• Key leaders in Regional Command-North bow their heads in reverence during the opening prayer during the Camp John Pratt dedication ceremony, Aug. 14. The camp, still being constructed by the engineers of Task Force Hurricane, is named after fallen U.S. Army Apache pilot Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt, and will be a main collection area for troops and equipment withdrawing from Afghanistan.

    Key leaders in Regional Command-North bow their...

    Key leaders in Regional Command-North bow their heads in reverence during the opening prayer during the Camp John Pratt dedication ceremony, Aug. 14. The camp, still being constructed by the engineers of Task Force Hurricane, is named after fallen U.S...

  • BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan--Soldiers of 12th Combat Aviation Brigade raise the U.S. colors over newly-dedicated Camp John C. Pratt, Aug. 14, 2012. Task Force Hurricane, a group of U.S. Army engineer units led by 841st Eng. Bn., 926th Eng. Bde., 412th Theater Engineer Command, continues construction of the egress staging camp, in preparation for the thousands of troops that will use it as a collection area before departing Afghanistan.

    BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan--Soldiers of 12th...

    BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan--Soldiers of 12th Combat Aviation Brigade raise the U.S. colors over newly-dedicated Camp John C. Pratt, Aug. 14, 2012. Task Force Hurricane, a group of U.S. Army engineer units led by 841st Eng. Bn., 926th Eng. Bde., 412th...

  • U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, commemorates the life of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt during a ceremony Aug. 14, dedicating a new U.S.-operated camp in Regional Command-North in honor of the ultimate sacrifice he made.

    U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th Combat...

    U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, commemorates the life of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt during a ceremony Aug. 14, dedicating a new U.S.-operated camp in Regional Command-North in honor of the...

  • U.S. Soldiers gather in Regional Command- North to memorialize the life of fallen 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Apache pilot, Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt, during a ceremony naming the newest U.S.-operated Camp after him, Aug. 14, 2012.

    U.S. Soldiers gather in Regional Command- North...

    U.S. Soldiers gather in Regional Command- North to memorialize the life of fallen 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Apache pilot, Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt, during a ceremony naming the newest U.S.-operated Camp after him, Aug. 14, 2012.

  • U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, Regional Command-North International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander, and U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, unveil a plaque officially dedicating the newest U.S.-operated camp in Afghanistan to fallen U.S. Army Apache pilot Chief Warrant Officer John C. Pratt, Aug. 14, 2012.

    U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, Regional...

    U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, Regional Command-North International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander, and U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, unveil a plaque officially dedicating the newest...

BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Months of work takes shape as an 880-acre area here in Regional Command-North is officially dedicated Camp John Pratt, named after fallen U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 John C. Pratt, Aug. 14.

Pratt was assigned to 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.

The camp has been allocated to serve as an alternative egress staging area as the stream of troops and equipment being removed from the country increases.

The $27 million project, currently managed by a conglomeration of engineer units called Task Force Hurricane, is the number one priority and largest troop-based construction initiative underway in the region.

"In the past five months, we have moved and emplaced over 450,000 cubic yards of earth, which would fill the empire state building approximately four and a half times," explained U.S. Army Maj. Albert Lehmann, Task Force Hurricane construction effects officer who manages the project.

Even as the naming ceremony began, heavy equipment roared in the distance, preparing other areas to be inhabited as forward operating bases across Regional Command-North continue to close. Still, the weight of the dedication ceremony was not lost on those soldiers coated in dust and sweat, working nearby.

"We are honored to be working on a project that will be named after someone we served alongside," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tony Collins, the onsite non-commissioned officer-in-charge.

After a prayer by U.S. Army Chaplain (Maj.) Mark A. Levine, 12th CAB chaplain, the crowd listened to heartfelt anecdotes and eulogies from U.S. Army Col. Van J. Voorhees, 12th CAB commander, and Brig. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, Regional Command-North International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander.

They nodded as the speakers recounted Chief Warrant Officer Pratt's life of character, family, and selfless service, and chuckled as Voorhees mentioned, "Chief Pratt avoided formations at all costs. This ceremony, with shade and no formations, is very much in John's style."

History weighed heavily in the air as the pristine white dedication plaque was unveiled and the American flag was raised above the camp for the first time.

Task Force Hurricane, a group of U.S. Army engineer units led by 841st Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command, continues construction of the egress staging camp in preparation for the thousands of troops that will use it as a collection area before departing Afghanistan.

Page last updated Sat August 25th, 2012 at 10:35