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Army Engineers Construct Checkpoint in Afghanistan

26 August 2005

Army Engineers Construct Checkpoint in Afghanistan

Check it Out - Army Engineers Construct Checkpoint in Afghanistan After only a month in Afghanistan members of the New Zealand Defence Force Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) are rolling up their sleeves and getting down to business.

Army Engineers have just finished constructing a permanent checkpoint for the Afghan National Police (ANP), about thirty kilometres north east of the Kiwi's base at Bamiyan.

The building with barrier arms will allow the ANP to stop and search vehicles at a road junction linking the north of Bamiyan with Kabul. The checkpoint will play an important role in significantly reducing the illicit movement of weapons and drugs. It will also increase the presence of the Afghan authorities in the local area. Army Carpenter, Staff Sergeant Nigel Snalam, supervised the construction, assisted by Corporal John "Dobbie' Dobson and four local Afghan workers, permanently employed by the New Zealanders.

At the foot of a narrow gorge, construction presented a number of challenges.

"The foundations were particularly hard to dig because of the rocky ground. They had to be dug by hand, which took all of the first day," said Staff Sergeant Snalam.

The second day saw the actual construction itself, with the building fully completed and painted. 122 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are currently in Afghanistan as part of the PRT. Originally deployed in September 2003, the PRT has beenextended through until September 2006.


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