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NATC-A advisors provide clean water to local village
U.S. Air Force Capt. Clint Cooper, 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group comptroller advisor, speak with a village elder Dec. 2, 2013 about the water system construction in Old Russian Village near Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan. The water project, being overseen by the 838 AEAG Commander’s Emergency Response Program which began in October and will be completed in January 2014, will distribute clean, running water to more than 90 homes in the area and positively affect the lives of more than 600 village residents. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Wilkins)
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NATC-A advisors provide clean water to local village

Posted 12/12/2013   Updated 12/12/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Capt. Anastasia Wasem
NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Public Affairs


12/12/2013 - SHINDAND AIR BASE, Afghanistan -- On Dec. 2, members of the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group Commander's Emergency Response Program conducted a site visit to a project at the Old Russian Village, a village near Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan.

The water project, which began in October and will be completed in January 2014, will distribute clean, running water to more than 90 homes in the area and positively affect the lives of more than 600 village residents.

"As a CERP team, we have to accurately understand, assess and communicate the project requirements to those approving the project in our chain of command," explained Capt. Clint Cooper, 838 AEAG comptroller advisor, stationed at North American Aerospace Defense Command-U.S. North Command and hails from Paris, Texas. "It means spending a majority of our decision-making time to decide what the real problem is, and then we can come up with the best solution."

In July, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan advisors with the 838 AEAG, met with village elders in order to understand the demographics and pressing water requirements for the village. After determining the needs of the village and the best possible options, the $150,200 project was awarded and construction began in September. The project will use main water distribution nodes in order to distribute clean water to the local homes.

The current water system uses broken piping and has very little pressure in order to pull water from the well. The well is shallow so the water contains sediment, the pipes are not part of a closed system and leaks from the current piping create puddles on the surface. The new deep water well will provide cleaner water as well as distribute the water throughout the village using a main water line.

"The process for approving and seeing a CERP project through is nothing short of challenging," said Cooper. "It requires an attitude of teamwork not only between previous and current advisors to carry on with the remaining work that must be accomplished and future projects, but also teamwork with the people who live and work in the village; the people who it really matters the most to."

In addition to the Old Russian Village project, the 838 AEAG CERP team is also working two similar projects currently under construction as well as three more that have been identified and are undergoing the assessment and approval process.

"As an engineer, this is what I live for. To be able to apply my knowledge and expertise in such manner so as to positively impact the lives of local Afghans in a direct, tangible way is simply a blessing," stated Capt. Tony Hylko, 838 AEAG civil engineer stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and from Canton, Mich. "The CERP program is a conduit for getting resources to the right people at the right time.



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