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New housing at 401st improves force protection posture

November 3, 2012

By Summer Barkley

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--The third building in the 401st Army Field Support Brigade's Phase V housing area opened Oct. 27 and provides housing for personnel in a hardened structure thereby improving force protection.

Moving residents into the new building is the first of a series of moves that will result in all of the females currently housed in tents being moved into barracks spaces vacated by males who move into the hardened barracks. The women will be in closer proximity to showers and latrines in their new location.

"Our goal is to move everyone out of tents," said Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie G. Chavez, 401st AFSB command sergeant major. "This enhances force protection, this building in solid. It's an honor and a pleasure to cut the ribbon."

Sergeant Maj. Danette D. Bailey thanked the housing team and the billeting team for setting things up for a smooth move for the new residents. She indicated that the teams streamlined the processes for personnel moving into the new facility.

Following the ribbon cutting, residents began receiving their room assignments and were ready to move into their rooms.

Terry Taylor, a heavy equipment operator, said he thinks the space is "divided up pretty good," as he got his first look at his new quarters.

Two more buildings in Phase V housing are slated to be turned over to the 401st in a few days.

Additionally, there are five buildings under construction in Phase VI that are identical to the Phase V buildings. The first of the Phase VI buildings is slated to be turned over to the 401st in late December with the last one scheduled for turnover in late June 2013.

The most important advantage of having personnel in a hardened facility is that residents will be able to shelter in place in the event of an attack. Another important advantage is the energy savings that will accrue from not having to heat tents with generators. Fuel savings translates directly dollars saved in fuel costs and also means having fewer fuel trucks the roads thereby reducing the risk to drivers and escort personnel.

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