By Capt. Sean A. Spence, Task Force EssayonsDecember 12, 2018
Task Force Essayons (TFE) provides engineering and construction services to the U.S. and coalition forces of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). Since activation on May 19, 2017, TFE has supported warfighters with the mission to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria across the Combined Joint Operations Area (CJOA).
TFE is a key resource in ensuring mission success by planning, designing, facilitating and expediting the delivery of critical projects in this contingency environment.
The task force grew from a small advance team to the premiere engineering and construction asset in theater with personnel located across multiple bases in Iraq and Kuwait.
"We provide vital master planning, environmental, engineering, construction, and project integration support," said Todd Watts, Deputy for Programs and Project Management. "But we are also coaches, mentors and advisors to the CJTF staff who are in roles that they may not be used to. TFE's role in theater is truly unique for a deployed USACE organization," Watts said.
Base Camp Master Planning
Base Camp Master Plans (BCMPs) serve as the foundation for management of theater-wide installation requirements. BCMPs incorporate higher-level guidance to achieve the commander's vision by identifying adaptable plans and courses of action to account for future operational requirements. These plans are living documents that prioritize and guide land use and infrastructure development. A BCMP is the blueprint for base upgrades, footprint reductions, and closures as well as changes to a base camp's purpose.
TFE engages with stakeholders throughout the CJOA to develop, enhance, and maintain BCMPs. Planning teams - comprised of master planners and geospatial analysts - travel throughout Iraq conducting stakeholder interviews, facilitating planning charrettes, and gathering data to understand land use and planning problems, constraints, and opportunities. This information is used to develop plans to address issues and enhance mission execution.
"A BCMP is the primary unifying document that brings together all players with a stake in the base camp, from headquarters to the field. Our team facilitates the process and develops a path for implementing the vision of the base," said Jennifer Switzer, BCMP Program Manager.
The TFE Environmental Program provides technical support, advice and guidance to Base Operating Support-Integrators (BOS-I; those who coordinate the use of mission support resources for a wide range of functions) and CJTF Engineers at bases across Iraq to meet the applicable environmental requirements as outlined in U.S. Central Command's (USCENTCOM) Contingency Environmental Standards regulation.
TFE deploys environmental advisors to strategic locations throughout the CJOA. The environmental team conducts assessments and prepares Environmental Condition Reports; these reports provide visibility and address existing and emergent environmental issues. Then TFE Environmental creates, updates, and assists units and contractors in implementing management plans for hazardous materials, hazardous waste, wastewater and solid waste, as well as creates or updates Spill Prevention and Response Plans.
"Our environmental program ensures the BOS-Is are provided with the best technical guidance to implement USCENTCOM's environmental regulation," said JP Beaudouin, Environmental Program Manager. "The regulation reflects USCENTCOM's commitment to environmental stewardship and has a positive impact on the health, safety and morale of troops, base personnel, and the host nation."
Engineering and Construction Services
TFE's Engineering and Construction Division consists of a design cell at Camp Taji and construction support teams at multiple locations throughout the CJOA. "Experienced team members drawn from diverse disciplines work together to provide engineering and construction solutions for the warfighter's toughest challenges," said Bart Rylander, Chief, Engineering and Construction Division.
TFE Engineering Branch includes professional engineers, architects, construction managers, cost estimators, and personnel with deep technical expertise in civil, electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering disciplines. They provide design-build and design-bid-build capabilities for troop labor and contract construction projects that vary in size and complexity throughout the CJOA.
TFE has completed more than 70 designs for projects valued over $50 million and prepared cost estimates for more than 150 projects. TFE has also completed technical peer reviews for dozens of designs prepared by other design agents, including the Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance and Engineer Facilities Detachment. "We have a team of highly qualified professionals focused on delivering quality engineering products and services," said Daniel Rocha, Chief, Engineering Branch.
The Construction Branch provides project engineering, construction quality assurance, and contracting officer representative expertise for more than 50 projects throughout the theater.
The dynamic nature of providing construction-related services in a contingent environment allows construction control representatives to bring the full breadth of their construction experience to bear. "Our goal is to build quality and safe projects that exceed customer expectations," said Percy Williams, Chief, Construction.
Given TFE's unique role in theater, TFE is positioned to provide project integration services to aid BOS-I staff with the multitude of requirements during all phases of their projects from inception through design, construction, project closeout, and hand over. Project integrators are located throughout the CJOA and support more than 130 active projects in various phases of planning, design, acquisition, and construction.
Project integrators enable and expedite project delivery by facilitating communication and collaborating with all stakeholders, including customers and base camp planning, technical design, contracting, and construction quality assurance teams.
"Project Integrators add value by incorporating key elements of the USACE Project Delivery Business Process and coordinating the phased delivery of project requirements across functional boundaries and throughout the project lifecycle," said Matthew Burkett, Chief, Project Integration Team.
TFE's ability to support U.S. and coalition forces rests in the service ethic of its team members.
"Our team of experienced professional Civilians and Soldiers live the Army Values on a daily basis," said Sgt. Maj. Peter Leadley, TFE Senior Enlisted Advisor. "They take their missions seriously to help ensure that the service members in the fight against ISIS have the facilities required to accomplish their mission."