By Summer BarkleyJuly 13, 2012
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (July 12, 2012) -- Possibly the biggest news to come out of Forward Operating Base, or FOB, Dubs, happened the day it was turned over to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan June 30, 2012.
FOB Dubs wasn't the oldest, largest, newest or smallest FOB. It was the first one to have LOGCAP services turned off in preparation for the base to be turned over to GIRoA for use by the Afghan National Army. Construction on the base, located in the Kabul area, began in 2005 and it was home to approximately 549 people.
While serving as a base for U.S. and coalition troops, FOB Dubs had 34 basic life services ranging from shower and latrine, food service preparation and meals, Moral Welfare and Recreation, or MWR, to fire protection services provided by LOGCAP performance contractor Fluor Corporation. LOGCAP stands for Logistics Civil Augmentation program and is the U.S. Army's premier capability to support global contingencies by leveraging corporate assets to augment Army current and programmed sustainment force structure.
The cessation of LOGCAP services began Dec. 18, 2011 when Fluor was issued a cessation of contractor services notice directing them to de-scope and demobilize all LOGCAP services and Fluor personnel and prepare assets for movement in conjunction with the U.S. government transfer and closure. Fluor provided all the necessary tools, skilled labor and equipment to meet this requirement and they hired local workers to assist in the closure where possible. They worked for months to discontinue services supporting 145 buildings and personnel living on the FOB.
"This is our first large site transfer," said James E. Allen, LOGCAP deputy program director for Afghanistan. "It was a successful handoff to the GIRoA."
"The successful transfer of FOB Dubs to GIROA can be directly attributed to the lessons learned from past performance and [the] Iraq drawdown," said Allen.
Allen said the Dubs closure was "truly a success story from the LOGCAP perspective by serving as a 'test base' for de-scope procedures." He added that much of what was learned will be used in future base closures.
"Due to the geographical and environmental complexity of Afghanistan, it is imperative that LOGCAP performance contractors get in front of the military troop drawdown to ensure LOGCAP does not encumber the Warfighter by competing for the same transportation assets to retrograde equipment or redeploy personnel," Allen stated.
FOB Dubs was home to Task Force Hydra, consisting of members of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, a Georgia National Guard unit from Columbus, Ga. The personnel and equipment moved to nearby FOB Julien prior to the closure.
The LOGCAP performance contractor completed the de-scope process before the June 15 deadline. A transfer ceremony to turn the base over to GIRoA took place June 30.
Wesley Parker, the contractor site manager who opened FOB Dubs, was the same one to complete the de-scoping. He arrived at FOB Dubs in September 2005 when construction of office spaces, the dining facility and gym began and he worked at Dubs for six of the seven years it was in existence.
"I actually had mixed feelings [about closing the FOB]," he said. "All of my team put in a lot of time and effort to make Dubs a place we could be proud of. It was home to us."
"I want to stress that without the support of my team and their commitment to the opening and especially the closing, it would not have been as smooth," he said.
His most memorable moment came shortly before the transfer when he was presented a certificate naming him 'Honorary Camp Dubs Mayor' and a large wooden sign saying 'Welcome to Camp Dubs'. He plans to ship the sign home and attach it to the deck at the lake where he plans to retire.