Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Skills to Rebuild Afghanistan

Engineer Helps Give Afghans
Skills to Rebuild
US Air Force Captain Dave Lin
Capt. Dave Lin discusses details regarding the camp's new conference center with site engineer Renato, Jan. 11, in Afghanistan. Lin is an engineer with the International Security Assistance Force headquarters. U.S. Air Force photo

By Capt. Stacie N. Shafran, International Security Assistance Force Headquarters

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 12, 2007 — A day in the life of a project engineer fills up pretty quickly. Between meetings and constant walks around the base to survey projects, there's concrete to be poured, gravel to be delivered and contractors needing guidance. This will be the norm for Capt. Dave Lin over the course of his six-month deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan. As an engineer assigned to NATO's International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, headquarters, he is responsible for $20 million worth of construction projects around the camp. With nearly 1,200 people assigned to the headquarters from 30 contributing nations, Lin not only interacts with international colleagues, but also seven Afghan contractors and 300 laborers.

"One of the best aspects of this deployment is interacting with the locals," he said. "I'm challenging them by teaching them new and more efficient means of construction and together we're striving to provide the best product for HQ ISAF."

Among the projects on their to-do list are constructing more accommodations, a new conference center, a fitness center, a perimeter wall and most importantly, installing an underground sewer system. Despite the cold, snow, mud, and language barrier, the captain is confident in his team's abilities to fulfill the mission. This sense of optimism, along with his strong leadership and technical skills, is something he's cultivated since graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2000 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering. "Even though I'm deployed in a combat zone, I find it really rewarding to work with the locals. They always have a smile on their face and it's great to see that they're rebuilding their own country," he said. "We're teaching the Afghans basic construction practices that they can use in the future projects, but in a safer manner and of better quality."

ISAF is comprised of more than 32,000 troops from 37 NATO countries and non-NATO nations. Its primary role is to support the government of Afghanistan in providing a secure environment to facilitate the rebuilding of Afghanistan


prying1 said...

It is stories like this that the MSM fails to report. Purposefully I think.

Thanks for filling in the blank spots the 'news' misses.

ChicagoRay said...

They absolutely fail to report this kind of news, but I curse those who are too lazy to seek out the truth like we see here, as only an imbecile could believe the alternative, that the US military is the enemy of good and failing at any mission they are charged with accomplishing.

Anyone that believes that would also believe that the Koran is the premier book of goodwill and Islam is the religion of peace. Can you imagine?

Great work here Flag, thanks for the visit and keep up the fine tribute here if I may say.

Nelson said...

This is Nelson from Asymmetric. I'm going to be an Engineer in five months. Thanks for the story.

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you, gentlemen.
As I admire all of your blogs, I appreciate your visits and comments.

It is so easy to tell the good stories - don't know why more don't.

De'on Miller said...

More good news from Afghanistan and our wonderful troops. Thanks as always!