AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
Significant milestones toward the U.S. Development Area begin with demolition soon, and Dr. Khaled Masound is here to enable headway.
Masound, Chief of Construction Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, and his team provide years of experience and continuity to all engineers across ADAB.
“We enjoy working with the Base Civil Engineers, they’re truly great professionals,” said Masound. “We are one team, and it’s been very apparent in the products that we have been working together on.”
As military personnel rotate every few months and commanders move each year, long-term continuity is important, especially when it comes to base construction.
“What we’ve done, as part of the base Civil Engineer Squadron, [is] provided the needed continuity for what we call now the USDA – U.S. Development Area,” said Masound.
Transitioning the base from expeditionary to enduring is something that has been talked about for years and the Army Corps of Engineers is available to ensure that commitments and efforts don’t lose momentum due to rotational turnover.
“The host nation has awarded the first contract, so we are hoping to continue with that USDA,” said Masound. “So in that perspective it was very good for the Air Force to have us on base here.”
The relationships Masound and his team has formed with the Command Military Works, the host nation equivalent to the Corps of Engineers, has been priceless.
Aside from the USDA, when it came time for a runway replacement project, the CMW came to them for consultation. In doing so the new runway was constructed with a better cross-section for structural capability to withhold the aircraft that the U.S. military uses.
“That was a major cost saving for the Air Force when the host nation agreed to do that cross-section,” said Masound.
The USDA is a beast of its own. The project has many phases and will take a number of years to complete. However, according to Masound, there is a plan that will help render the area a permanent base versus the temporary structures that are here today.
Permanent billeting is on the list of items to be built, however that is not scheduled to happen during this first phase. The April to October 2019 rotation will witness the start of the new development. Demolition is scheduled to start soon, but it will not affect current operations.