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For Immediate Release
Jan. 14, 2012
Contact: Mark Ray, (540) 667-5705

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South District turns over Shindand strategic airlift apron, cargo and passenger terminals

From left to right, Col. John Hokaj, commander, Shindand Air Base, Col. Benjamin Wham, commander, USACE Afghanistan Engineer District-South, David Burns from ECCI and Erdal Onbasli from METAG cut a ribbon to mark the turn-over the new strategic apron and cargo and passenger terminals on Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan. KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South marked the completion of another major project Jan. 11, when the Shindand Air Base assumed ownership of a district-built strategic airlift apron and cargo and passenger terminals.

The $18.1-million project includes more than 56,000 square meters of apron and taxiways for strategic lift aircraft (such as C-17s), a 790-square-meter passenger terminal and a 1,200-square-meter cargo terminal. The project also includes a fire suppression system with almost 600,000 liters of water storage.

"The joint venture of ECCI and METAG successfully constructed these facilities to meet the military's very stringent specifications," said contractor representative David Burns at a ceremony to mark the turn-over. "We are very proud of the quality of our work on this project."

"This facility will play an important role as the coalition begins to move equipment and personnel out of theater, after handing over responsibility for security to the Afghan National Army and police," said Shindand Air Base commander, Col. John Hokaj. "The strategic airlift apron allows us to keep the runway in operation as we load and unload our large strategic lift aircraft."

The contractor turned over an initial section of the apron ahead of the rest of the facility, which has already benefited air base operations, Hokaj explained in his remarks.

"The old passenger terminal on this airbase is a small tent, next to the tower," said South District commander, Air Force Col. Ben Wham. "The service members who will fly out of this excellent, modern and well-constructed building will thank all the members of the team who made this facility a reality—the contractors who worked really hard and produced a first-class product, and the great district team that provided essential oversight to this vital project."

"I congratulate all the members of the team that worked together on this facility," Wham said. "I also want to recognize two of our Afghan employees, Engineer Wahid and Engineer Nasir, whose work was crucial to our success."

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USACE’s Afghanistan Engineer District-South provides design and construction services throughout southern Afghanistan to support the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. The work is carried out in Regional Commands South, Southwest and West with the goal of achieving counterinsurgency effects and bolstering the Afghan Government’s services to its people.

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