Afghanistan District Year in Review: 2018

Published Dec. 31, 2018
A sampling of the people, projects and progress from the Afghanistan District throughout the 2018 year.

A sampling of the people, projects and progress from the Afghanistan District throughout the 2018 year.

So as the Afghanistan District looks back on the great accomplishments of 2018 we look forward to our continuing engineering and construction projects in front of us in 2019.

So as the Afghanistan District looks back on the great accomplishments of 2018 we look forward to our continuing engineering and construction projects in front of us in 2019.

The Afghanistan conflict is America’s longest war, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has been there since 2002 supporting military contingency operations and U. S. government initiatives. Through various policy shifts in Afghanistan since then, USACE has remained a consistent and reliable provider of engineering and construction services to U. S. and coalition partners.

Throughout the year, the Afghanistan District supported Operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The District also supports other U. S. partners in Afghanistan.

“Our efforts to provide quality facilities are evident in the number of projects completed and turned over to help establish security and provide infrastructure,” said Col. Jason E. Kelly, Afghanistan District Commander. “As the U. S. mission has evolved, USACE now has additional projects that may carry into the next four years.”

The Afghanistan District operates similarly to other USACE districts in terms of following USACE policies and procedures, but it does so in a contingency environment and with a revolving workforce of military and civilian members. Their work is supplemented by Afghan citizens under the Local National Quality Assurance program where these citizens assist in construction oversight.

The participation of Afghan citizens falls under the Afghan First Program, a NATO program designed to contribute directly to the long-term stability, security, and economic development of Afghanistan. The program also promotes use of Afghan firms- all with a goal of building the capacity of Afghan workers and companies.

The Afghanistan District, in collaboration with the Afghan Builders Association, conducts an Industry Day every year. For 2018 this event was held in April where District acquisition professionals briefed the Afghan construction industry professionals and business owners on Government contracting practices and future business opportunities.

The Afghanistan District, through the contract actions awarded, positively impact the economy by injecting money into local contractors through Section 886 of the National Defense Authorization Act “Afghan First” authority.

The District’s mission is a country-wide, three pronged effort with U. S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan (CSTC-A) with our ANDSF construction programs, and the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with concentration on power generation. In addition, an operations and maintenance program instills the skills necessary for the Afghans to operate and maintain the newly constructed facilities. The District also partners with the Defense Department and State Department to complete water and power infrastructure projects.

Just a year ago, the Afghanistan District was focused on reducing its footprint and aligning itself with the projected workload for a reduced U. S. mission in theater. However, in 2018 that changed with the Resolute Support Commander’s plan for a conditions-based strategy, which included an aggressive train, advise, and assist mission in conjunction with significant increases in the size and scope of the ANDSF platforms.

Our projected workload over the next four years has tripled. New and expanded programs include projects for Afghan Air Force Modernization, Afghan Special Forces, and Women’s Participation Program, while the District remains committed to completing projects identified under the North East Power System (NEPS) and the Southern Electric Power System (SEPS).

“In addition, USAID and the District established an unprecedented partnership to finish out the U. S. contribution to the national power grid, taking on the more than $250 million-countrywide power transmission project. When complete, this project will establish power throughout the country, connecting Afghanistan civilians and military to stable reliable power,” Kelly said.

Over the course of 2018, the District applied the concept of operating at the “speed of relevance at the speed of war,” taking deliberate steps to ensure it was engaged early in the operational planning cycle, connected to its partners, and offering engineering solutions in a dynamic and volatile environment. The District placed people at critical locations where it could best support its partners’ key priorities, increased District access to USACE, and reduced the lines of communication needed in a theater constrained to air movements over geographically-dispersed locations.

The Afghanistan District’s ability to reach back to the USACE enterprise brings the might of the entire USACE team. From design expertise on Women’s Participation Program training facilities to technical specialties for closed circuit television in support of NATO’s effort to secure Kabul in the month’s preceding the presidential elections, the District leveraged expertise from 33 stateside organizations.

The command’s three top priorities are focused on Delivering the Program, Force Protection, and Managing Transitions.

And as we transition from this year to the New Year we do so with nearly 100 projects, 50 in construction and 24 in the pre-award phase with yet another 25 on tap in the near future, and 21 contracts currently scheduled for award in FY19.

We wrap up 2018 and look forward to rolling into 2019 with thousands of Americans, Afghans, and members from the international community working and continuing to work on USACE projects throughout Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division serves as USACE’s tip of the spear in one of the most dynamic construction environments in the world, STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS, BUILDING CAPACITY, and ENHANCING SECURITY for our nation, allies, and partners. 

We deliver agile, responsive, and innovative, design, construction, engineering and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and other global partners to advance national security interests.

Transatlantic Division News

  • April

    Building Resilience and Respect: USACE’s Role in Sustaining Military Capacity at Camp Buehring During Ramadan

    Strategic Infrastructure is crucial for sustaining military capability, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a vital role in ensuring its effectiveness. As a part of monthly rotational site visit engagements, U.S. Army Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman, USACE Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander, along with a team of district engineers and the district Safety chief, traveled to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, to review two key projects: the Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility and the Udairi Landing Zone Transition Repair projects. These engagements exemplify USACE's commitment to operational excellence and project oversight.
  • USACE Strengthens Partnership for Global Infrastructure in Kuwait

    In a significant meeting held on March 17, at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, U.S. Army Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander, and Viet Nguyen, Expeditionary District deputy district engineer, engaged in strategic discussions with The U.S. Ambassador and the Economic Counselor from the American Embassy in Kuwait. The engagement centered around enhancing the role of USACE in the context of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, PGII, and its implications for U.S. and allied economic and national security interests.
  • March

    USACE Transatlantic Division employee embarks on Army Coaching Program journey

    A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division employee is undertaking an intense talent management program in order to help fellow employees in their careers; the first employee in the organization to do so.
  • February

    USACE Transatlantic Division: Setting Extraordinary Standards as ‘Partner of Choice’ in CENTCOM AOR

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division stands as a pivotal force in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Since the 1950s, the Division has actively shaped the landscape of engineering, design, and construction across the Middle East. Transforming from its initial focus on basic military construction, the Division now leads sophisticated, large-scale infrastructure projects, demonstrating a deep commitment to building capacity and enhancing security in the region. By setting and consistently upholding extraordinary operational standards, it has established itself as the ‘partner of choice.’
  • January

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division Commander Promoted to Brigadier General

    Col. William C. Hannan, Jr., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division commander, was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General during a ceremony here Jan. 16.
  • October

    On Solid Ground: Army Values are the Foundation of USACE Transatlantic Division’s Mission

    With a history of more than 70 years in the region, the Transatlantic Division oversees more than $5 billion in projects including military construction programs, force protection innovations, and security cooperation initiatives, strengthening Army readiness, enhancing vital infrastructure, and deepening global partnerships. Each action reinforces the Army's unwavering commitment to its service members and global partners.
  • USACE Innovation: The Key to 'Building Strong' in the CENTCOM AOR

    For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division, innovation is the essential energy that drives success. From the initial development phase of a project, through the design and construction, and well into the operational phase, innovation drives the relentless pursuit of excellence, supporting sustainable strategies and fostering the development of long-lasting, reliable solutions.
  • September

    USACE Transatlantic Division supports Typhoon Mawar disaster relief

    A staff member assigned to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division was activated and sent to Guam from June until July to assist FEMA, federal partners and territorial officials’ response to the typhoon which caused significant impacts to essential services throughout portions of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, including water, energy and transportation.
  • ‘Go Army, Beat Navy’: A Time-honored Rivalry Transformed into Integrated Partnership in Bahrain

    In a series of key leader engagements, U.S. Army Col. William C. Hannan, Jr., Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division commander, visited Bahrain on Sept. 11, to fortify the already strong inter-service partnerships with the Naval Forces Central Command and Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
  • August

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division participates in Eagle Resolve 2023

    Two staff members assigned U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division traveled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 21- 25, 2023 to participate in Eagle Resolve 2023, a Combined Joint All-Domain exercise which improves interoperability on land, in the air, at sea, in space, and in cyberspace with the U.S. military and partner nations, enhances the ability to respond to contingencies, and underscores USCENTCOM's commitment to the Middle East.