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Engineers clear field

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Holmes
  • 438th Air Expeditionary Wing

KABUL AIR WING, Afghanistan -- Engineers from Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air (TAAC-Air) have been working to give security forces members manning the entry control point into Hamid Karzai International Airport a clear view of their surroundings.


Capt. Erik Blum and Master Sgt. Thomas Ryan, both civil engineer advisors with TAAC-Air, have spent a couple of hours each day clearing a field surrounding the ECP of reeds that have grown in excess of 15-feet tall.


“The area we are clearing is about 350-meters long, 20-meters wide and 7-meters deep,” said Ryan.


With the reeds and brush so high, it became difficult for the people working at the gate to see what was going on around them in the area.


“It became a security concern for security forces,” said Blum. “The reeds were so high that they couldn’t see vehicles approaching.”


TAAC-Air hoped to wait for the Afghan Air Force’s civil engineer squadron to finish their current projects. However, force protection is a top priority, so TAAC-Air decided to take on the project.


“The Kandak, or battalion, is busy working on a grading and route clearing project,” said Blum.


As advisors, the engineers lack the equipment needed to do large amounts of work like pulling the reeds from the ground, but their AAF counterparts are more than happy to loan the required machinery.


“They offered us their excavator for a couple of days,” said Ryan. “We regularly borrow equipment when work needs done.”


Members of TAAC-Air and the AAF work together every day to complete missions while working to ensure the AAF becomes a professional and sustainable air force.