Camp Arifjan [Camden Yards]
Camp Arifjan is a new $200 million state-of-the-art facility built courtesy of the Kuwaiti government. This new army base has literally risen out of the sand. The base will provide permanent support facilities for American troops in Kuwait, replacing temporary facilities that have been used since the Gulf War.
The Army component of US Central Command (USCENTCOM), US Army Forces Central Command (ARCENT), maintains a forward presence in the region. Government-to-government agreements were negotiated with the Qatar and Kuwait to allow the prepositioning of military assets. The Army has met major milestones in its security strategy in the Middle East by completing a prepositioning facility in Qatar, and by the rapid pace of construction on a new installation in Kuwait. These facilities support USCENTCOM's efforts to protect US interests in this region in accordance with the National Security Strategy. US forces use these facilities under a variety of agreements, which include host nation involvement with providing and managing the facilities.
A new prepositioning facility is under construction by the Kuwait government at Arifjan, south of Kuwait City [Arifjan is also known as Araifjan, Arefjan and Urayfijan]. When complete, the facility will replace Camp Doha, a former industrial warehouse complex that has been converted for use as an Army installation. Camp Doha was leased by the Kuwait Ministry of Defense and provided to the Army to support its three major missions in Kuwait -- to maintain prepositioned equipment, supplies and materials; direct joint exercises with the Kuwait armed forces; and ensure the security of Kuwait. Camp Doha was intended as a temporary facility until the permanent installation was designed and built at Arifjan. A full brigade set of equipment is stored at Camp Doha, much of it outside. The new facility will have most of the equipment sets stored in large warehouses, similar to the ones built in Qatar, to protect them from the harsh desert environment.
While troops jokingly call the pair of tall smokestacks near Camp Doha the "Scud goal posts," commanders have had to install makeshift measures around the facility to keep troops protected from terrorist threats. All that will change when the Army shifts its operations to a new facility now being built south of Kuwait City near the village of Arifjan and the headquarters of a Kuwait armored brigade. It will be absolutely state of the art, from force protection to life support. For starters, troops will live in actual barracks instead of the beehives carved out of the warehouses. Instead of hanging Kevlar netting across windows to protect against blasts, the new facility will use shatterproof Mylar glass. Armored vehicles will get special maintenance bays for the contracted mechanics who keep the equipment at one of the highest availability rates in the Army.
The Arifjan installation is a joint project between the engineering organizations of USCENTCOM, ARCENT, Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Programs Center [TAC], and Kuwait's Military Engineering Projects (MEP) office, the engineering arm of the Kuwait Ministry of Defense. TAC did major portions of the design, while MEP handled other designs. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) designed the facilities to support US Army operations, and provided quality assurance services to Kuwait's Defence Ministry during construction of the installation at the Arifjan base which will be used by US forces.
For construction purposes, the Kuwait government divided the facility into four packages and has awarded three construction contracts, according to Ron Rhodes, chief of TAC's Arifjan Quality Assurance (QA) Office. The packages are: Zone I, administrative and quality of life facilities. Awarded July 1999, estimated completion spring 2002 (TAC design). Zone II, industrial area, with warehousing, maintenance, and storage facilities. Awarded July 1999, estimated completion fall 2001 (TAC design). Zone III, ammunition storage area. Construction complete (MEP design). Zone IV, infrastructure (roads and utilities). Awaiting award (MEP design).
The Arifjan QA Office, with nine TAC team members, is responsible for assisting MEP's resident engineer staffs for each of the zones. They advise and assist the Kuwait resident engineers in accordance with their procedures. Their role is to provide construction management and quality assurance advice and to interpret specifications that involve literally hundreds of submittal reviews and requests for technical information. They also assist in joint inspections and, ultimately, turnover to the Army.
Besides the ongoing construction, ARCENT has identified additional needs at Arifjan. TAC is designing an enhancement package that includes expanded administrative and housing areas, operational facilities, and furniture and furnishings, according to project manager Donn Booker.
Although the move was canceled in August, 1999, the Doha-Arifjan, Kuwait Installation Transition and Movement SOW showed how LOGCAP contractor assistance can result in a plan to systematically move and transition all installation personnel and materiel from Camp Doha to a newly erected Arifjan installation. During these moves, personnel life support had to be maintained with a force capability to defend and counter-attack, if necessary.
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