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For Immediate Release
April 1, 2012
Contact: Mark Ray, (540) 667-5705

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Ground broken for Herat fire stations

Lt. Col. Bartley greets Herat Provincial Governor Dr. Daud Saba before the ground-breaking ceremony. Center rear, in uniform, is Herat Province police commander General Said Agha Saqib. (USACE photo, Mark Ray) Herat City will be a safer community when two new Afghan National Uniform Police fire stations are completed later this year. Provincial governor Daud Saba and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South Herat Area Office officer-in-charge Lt. Col. Gordon "Mark" Bartley marked the official start of the project April 1 during a ground-breaking ceremony.

"Breaking ground on a project is always a highlight," Bartley said in his remarks. "It symbolizes the beginning of actual construction, a beginning that leads to the end we all work for: a competed project that benefits the people of Afghanistan."

"On behalf of the people of Herat province and Herat City, I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the many projects they have constructed for us," said Saba, speaking through an interpreter. "These stations will provide critical service, reducing the loss of life and property to fires in Herat."

The $7.4-million project includes two two-story firehouses, each with five bays for apparatus (fire trucks). There will also be a three-story training tower and maintenance bays, said project engineer Jeff Cravens. The stations are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

"The firehouses will have living areas, kitchens and dining facilities," he continued. "The complexes will be self-sustained with perimeter walls, guard towers, electrical generators and distributions, wells and water distribution systems, and sewer and wastewater treatment facilities."

Lt. Col. Bartley places a cornerstone during the ground-breaking ceremony. (USACE photo, Mark Ray) "This project will provide more than facilities," Bartley said. "It will also provide employment, both directly for the workers on the site, and indirectly, for local suppliers of material." Bartley said the contractor working on the project is "ready and willing to tackle and overcome challenges. We look forward to working with them to deliver a high-quality product on schedule."

Bartley also praised the USACE and Afghan team supervising the project.

"I am confident that Herat Area Engineer Tom Puckett, project manager Frances Hinkley, project engineer Jeff Cravens, Afghan project engineer Tariq Taheri and Aghan quality assurance representative Eraj Akbarpour will deliver this project, with all of its benefits, to the people of Herat."

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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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