A grater from the 980th Engineering Battalion dumps carves out a new road through acres of grape orchards near Kandahar Airfield while local land owners look on and wait to assist with shovels. (Photo by Chief Petty Officer Jason Carter)
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (March 23, 2012) — The U.S. Army’s 980th Engineering Battalion is carving a road through acres of grape orchards near Kandahar Airfield for the dual purpose of helping the local farmers get to their orchards easier, as well as helping coalition forces have faster access to insurgent activity that’s prevalent in the area.
According to 1st Lt. B.C. Hardin, the officer in charge of the project, the road was not only approved by the local farmers, but by the Kandahar governor’s office as well.
“The 1.6 miles of road will give coalition forces quicker access to insurgents,” Hardin said. He went on to explain that it will also give farmers easier access to their harvest and will remain years after the war is over for locals to utilize.
Hardin’s crew is working diligently to get the road done as soon as possible and they are proud to be helping the locals as well as the overall mission in Afghanistan.
“Making a road for the villagers in the area and the military makes me proud. I love my job,” said U.S. Army Spc. Scott Pearce
The 980th Engineering Battalion is part of Task Force Stethem which is lead by the Naval Construction Regiment 22.