Monday, June 29, 2009

Royal Engineers help reconstruction in Helmand

A specialist team of Royal Engineers are helping deliver reconstruction projects worth over six million dollars in Afghanistan including the construction and refurbishment of nine health clinics, twelve schools, six mosques and twelve roads.

The specialist team, known as STRE, works closely with the British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) based at Lashkar Gah, a multi-national, civilian and military partnership leading the stabilisation process in Helmand.

Amongst the soldiers working in the STRE is Warrant Officer Class Two Mark Boardman. He said:

"The PRT identify the projects and we deliver them. Over the last year, the STRE has implemented over six million dollars worth of construction projects, ranging from the construction of school latrines and police post perimeter security enhancements, to the building of a brand new prison, an orphanage and numerous mosques, schools and health clinics.

"Working out here is a special challenge, but the job satisfaction is immense. Seeing local children go to school for the first time ever, at a school that we've built, or patients being treated at a hospital we've completely refurbished, is incredibly rewarding."

WO2 Boardman, who is on his second operational tour to Afghanistan, continued:

"We use local Afghan contractors to actually do the building work. It's a good way of injecting money into the local economy and generating employment. My team and I provide infrastructure advice and guidance, and oversee the contract to completion."

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