As part of a normal rotation we bid farewell to the 565th Forward Engineer Support Team (FEST-A). This team arrived about a month and a half earlier than scheduled to minimize an underlap. Nine members made up this team to include Civil, Structural, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, along with an Architect and a GIS team member. The team also included three enablers who assisted with the heavy load of project designs, two Civil and one Electrical engineer who remain dispersed within USACE.

The departing FEST team was a conglomerate of professionals from all over the USACE enterprise encompassing Mobile District, Seattle, and Omaha through Huntsville, Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia Districts.

During their tour here they had several technical engineering issues, mainly electrical. "There were several locations in TAAC-North and TAAC-East where the generators were failing and the electrical team had to assess the problems and come up with solutions for the units to execute," said MAJ Corey Burns, 565th Officer in Charge.

He went on to say that some of the issues were as simple as the altitude negatively affecting the generators and some were dynamic as redesigning the whole electrical infrastructure. They also went to several sites to conduct structural assessments.

"One in particular was Finley Shields where they hosted several Shuras in preparation for the upcoming elections," Burns said. Our structural engineer had to assess nine buildings to ensure that they met code.

Throughout the FEST team's nine months they were able to complete a total of 164 projects. And as the team headed out, the biggest take-away said Burns, "Was that team work makes the dream work. We all worked together in order to achieve USFOR-A JENG's end state and we were able to Deliver the Program to more than 21 units throughout the footprint in Afghanistan."

And as those 18 feet marched on out of Afghanistan, new boots were on the ground with the arrival of the 553rd FEST making their arrival into theater.

USACE Afghanistan District welcomes MAJ George and his team and look forward to the continuing partnership which keeps the mission a Castle Strong endeavor. "The 553rd FEST-A will work hard to maintain the high standards the Transatlantic Afghanistan District has established," said George.