Deployed Forces: Engineers transition projects to COE FEST-A unit

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Jennifer Lowes
130th Engineer Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command 

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE, Marez, Iraq — The Ninewa Reconstruction Cell, headed by the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, has many ongoing construction projects throughout the Ninewa Province, concentrating on the city of Mosul, Iraq.

The NRC manages U.S.-funded projects by meeting with and advising key leaders of the city and contractors to improve its infrastructure, but the NRC will be heading home this summer with many projects still in motion that need to be completed. 

The solution is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers organization, the Forward Engineer Support Team–Advanced, a small team of advanced engineers who can deploy quickly. 

The FEST-A 62nd Engineer Detachment, from Anchorage, Alaska, and the NRC will work together for about 30 days, going over project details, making contacts with Mosul leaders and getting oriented here.

1st Lt. Joel Ellis, senior project purchasing officer in the NRC, said it will be a long and detailed process to bring the FEST-A up to speed in Mosul.

“The complexity of these projects and the process we go through to get them up and running is enormous,” Ellis said. “These guys are going to be our core asset, and we want to make sure we set them up for success.” 

The NRC has specific multiple-format folders containing the history of each project, including solar lighting, sewer maintenance, trash pickup, building reconstruction and water distribution to the different neighborhoods in the city.

“We will be giving them all the background information on these projects they will need, and we will actually be going into the city to see them,” Ellis said. “That way they can see what’s going on and why these people need these services.” 

The 62nd FEST-A consists of two military members and four civilian engineers. 

“I’m interested and intrigued to see, after a year here, where we will be at,” said Maj. James Thompson, FEST-A officer in charge. “We are one of the first FEST-A teams in Iraq, and I’m excited to validate everything we’ve talked about and prepared for.” 

“We’re still in the process of figuring out the details of what we are doing here,” said Jacob Sweet, the team’s environmental engineer. “I’m just ready to learn as much as possible about the whole process. The NRC has good people to work with, who really know what they are doing.”

FEST-A responds to worldwide emergencies.

Category: Deployed Forces, News

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