Creating an environment for stability and growth
Today, around 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by conflict. Over the past decade, while great strides have been taken in securing economic growth for developing countries, those living in fragile and conflict affected states remain in extreme poverty. Rebuilding the infrastructure of a nation post conflict is one of the first steps in creating the environment for economic growth and job creation needed so people can be lifted out of extreme poverty.
One of the countries most affected by conflict in recent years is Afghanistan. There are currently around 8,000 British troops deployed to the region with military efforts focused on supporting the Afghan people in bringing security and stability to the nation while helping them re-build. Our forces work closely with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are in place to improve security, support good governance, and enhance provincial development across the country.
Enhancing the capabilities of local people
The UK Works Group (Royal Engineers) remain at the forefront of infrastructure delivery across Afghanistan. They are responsible for the ongoing development and running of the military estate in Afghanistan from the Main Operating Bases (MOBs) to the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). Since 2009, the Group have been responsible for all construction undertaken by the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Helmand Province, one of the largest provinces in Afghanistan, working with them to steadily improve the capabilities and competencies of local Afghan contractors.
Due to the scale of operations in Afghanistan, the support of a scalable civilian team capable of efficiently and effectively responding to the changing requirements and delivery of services was needed to assist the UK Works Group. In May 2012 we were awarded the Civilian Engineering Support Team (CEST) Contract to do just that. Our main role is to provide support to the UK Works Group by undertaking projects within the camps in support of military operations.
We provide design, procurement, construction supervision and supporting environmental and engineering services, as part of the CEST team and are responsible for the delivery of the information and knowledge management functions to maintain continuity to the military units who rotate through their deployment in Afghanistan.
As well as working alongside the UK Works Group to manage and maintain the infrastructure throughout Camp Bastion and on other operating bases, we have also assisted the Provincial Reconstruction Teams by providing civil and structural programme design for projects involving Force Protection as well as the construction of a new bridge.
A tailored approach
As a team, we have to deliver a high volume of projects. To date we have been engaged on 360 projects which are at varying stages of completion, many in remote locations, under adverse environmental conditions and to demanding timelines. This has required a huge effort from all our employees, based both in Afghanistan and the support team in the UK. Our involvement in Afghanistan is a prime example of how we tailor our resources to meet the individual needs of our clients and how we deliver an agile response as priorities change often at the last minute.
Bringing stability to the region
Before a nation can rebuild following conflict, there needs to be stability and security. The UK Forces’ based in Afghanistan are helping the local people develop the ability to maintain their own security by providing training, advice and technical assistance. By supporting the UK Works Group in maintaining the infrastructure of our military operating bases in the region, our troops are able to carry out the vital work they are there to do: to help the Afghan people take control of their country’s security.
“I am very pleased to have WYG on board supporting us in our vital role in Afghanistan. Not only providing the infrastructure to enable ongoing military operations, but also in developing the opportunity for the local Afghan community to transition to a self sufficient status.” Col Tony Tait, MoD.