Construction projects some of the best, general says

Published Feb. 5, 2014
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, right, talks with Regional Command-Southwest  Afghan National Security Force Infrastrucutre Development Officer in Charge U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Brian Longbottom at a newly-built  installation which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, right, talks with Regional Command-Southwest Afghan National Security Force Infrastrucutre Development Officer in Charge U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Brian Longbottom at a newly-built installation which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The Armament Maintenance Building, built for the Afghan National Army's 215th Corps at Camp Shorabak, is one of the largest arched steel panel buildings in country. The 79 foot-wide, 548 foot-long, building includes machine storage, small arms repair, calibration room, turret repair, weapons cleaning, office space, storage, communications room, and welding, paint and machine shops. This building is part of an ANA installation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials act as construction agents for, overseeing them in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Corps guidance. According to Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, it is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The Armament Maintenance Building, built for the Afghan National Army's 215th Corps at Camp Shorabak, is one of the largest arched steel panel buildings in country. The 79 foot-wide, 548 foot-long, building includes machine storage, small arms repair, calibration room, turret repair, weapons cleaning, office space, storage, communications room, and welding, paint and machine shops. This building is part of an ANA installation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials act as construction agents for, overseeing them in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Corps guidance. According to Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, it is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The contractor added quality touches not required byt the contract, like tile instead of epoxy on seats and floors and shower doors instead of cheap curtains at a new Afghan National Army installation,  which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The contractor added quality touches not required byt the contract, like tile instead of epoxy on seats and floors and shower doors instead of cheap curtains at a new Afghan National Army installation, which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre and Corps officials walk past wood burning cooking stoves in anAfgan National Army dining facility at a newly-built  installation which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre and Corps officials walk past wood burning cooking stoves in anAfgan National Army dining facility at a newly-built installation which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak facilities home. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak buildings home. These buildings are part of an ANA installation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials act as construction agents for, overseeing them in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Corps guidance. According to Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, it is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

The Afghan National Army's 215th Combat Logistics Brigade will soon call these Camp Shorabak buildings home. These buildings are part of an ANA installation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials act as construction agents for, overseeing them in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Corps guidance. According to Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, it is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Bill Dowell/released)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – In the remote district of Shorabak, situated in Helmand Province, is a newly-built Afghan National Army, or ANA, installation which according to Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre, is some of the best construction he’s seen in Afghanistan.

Eyre has been involved with Afghanistan and Iraq reconstruction efforts for years. As the Transatlantic Division commander since April 2012, his staff helps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Afghanistan District with their construction oversight mission. He toured the recently completed ANA 215th Corps Combat Logistics Brigade, or CLB, project Jan. 28, eight months since his last visit.

“We’re here to help build quality infrastructure projects so the Afghan Security Forces have places to live and train to be able to defend their country,” said Eyre. “The USACE men and women here and in supporting districts back home are working hard to complete them as the troop drawdown continues.”

The decision of what to build and where, isn’t the Corps. They act as construction agents, meaning they’re tasked and funded by agencies that do make those decisions. Once an agency identifies a need and receives congressional authorization and funding, the Corps is tasked to build the project. Corps employees contract and oversee construction in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Corps guidance.

“It’s a difficult environment to build in,” said the general. “It definitely helps to have contractors we can count on to produce quality facilities.”

The original CLB contractor defaulted and the contract was put out for rebid. Turkish-headquartered Metag Construction Trade Co Inc., a project and engineering company, earned the estimated $25.6 million Shorabak contract. According to Eyre the company had issues when they first began building for the Corps in Afghanistan.

“Several years ago we had to really keep an eye on them. However, they’ve stepped it up and are producing some quality projects, like this one here,” Eyre said while surveying the site.

For Project Manager Eric Aubrey, Project Engineer Lori Gardner, Construction Representative Gary Desmarais and Afghan Senior Quality Assurance Representative Adress Hakimyar, having quality contractors helps. Each of them has many other projects they must shepherd.

At the CLB when issues needed correcting, the contractor was respectful and responsive, making his job easier said Desmarais. It wasn’t just correcting problems; the contractor added quality touches said Gardner. Adding tile instead of epoxy floors and shower doors instead of cheap curtains - things not required by the contract.

“Everything put in was quality and installed with pride,” said Gardner. “They take personal ownership of the project.”

For Hakimyar, as an Afghan, the project is personal, providing a stronger Afghanistan. He’s been working with the Corps for about six years and building a needed capacity. The Quality Assurance Representative, or QAR, program is something the Corps has been using for several years. Corps employees have access to the Shorabak projects, but some project areas are too dangerous and the Afghans, like Hakimyar, are trained to provide oversight at those. As the troop drawdown continues, the number of project sites Corps employees can access will diminish, making QARs even more valuable. In addition, they have a skill which can help build a stronger Afghanistan in the future, even without the Corps.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held earlier in January for the CLB and another project Eyre toured, a $13.5 million 215th Crops Headquarters Complex also at Shorabak. Speaking at the ceremony, 215th Corps Commander ANA Gen. Syed Malok said the facilities will help overcome building shortages for military personnel and streamline activities. Getting the projects are critical steps for the 215th, providing the last bits of tools they need to operate independently, the way International Security Assistance Force officials envision.

Helmand Province Deputy Governor Ahmad Massoud Bakhtawar said civilian and military foreign aid was effectively used in Helmand and believed Afghan forces are poised to defend their country.


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.