By Combined Joint Task Force 1June 10, 2011
KUNAR, Afghanistan, June 9, 2011 -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Afghanistan Engineer District Jalalabad Office and Kunar Provincial Gov. Fazlullah Wahidi held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Khas Kunar II Afghan Border Patrol Station in Khas Kunar district, Afghanistan, June 4, 2011.
The station, a three-year project that cost $13.8 million, will house 93 officers and help the region police the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.
Lt. Col. Braden Lemaster, officer-in-charge of the Afghanistan Engineer District, or AED, Jalalabad Office, said the opening of the station represents a success.
“It started in 2008,” Lemaster said. “So to have it completed is great. It represents a huge success to not only the Afghan community but to the border police as well.”
Afghan Border Patrol, or ABP, commander Matiullah Zalmai thanked the U.S. and Kunar Provincial Government in building the station.
“The help and support of the Americans and the Kunar government has been wonderful,” said Zalmai. “Magnificent work has been done. I am very happy and very grateful to have this new facility. The United States has given us a very modern structure for the ABP to reside.”
Staff Sgt. Thomas Collins, the project manager for the ABP station and member of the AED, said he is glad the project is complete.
“It’s amazing,” Collins said of the ceremony. “To have these guys actually occupy and use the facility is amazing when it happens. Lieutenant Colonel (Collin) Tooley (35th Infantry Regiment commander) and (U.S. Navy) Commander (Brian) Goss (Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team commander) played a huge role in getting this accomplished.”
Wahidi thanked the AED, and said the new station would help to keep the region safe.
“The United States of America has built this building,” Wahidi said. “This great facility is fundamentally completed. It has plenty of space for weapons, equipment, administrative offices and ABP officers. This facility will help to make this a better, safer and more secure province.”