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Airmen build road toward brighter future

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Torri Ingalsbe
  • Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and the 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron teamed up to repair a heavily-traveled road just outside of Bagram Air Field, June 13.

Route Safeside, which runs between two local villages, Saka and Payan Janqadam had fallen into disrepair after heavy foot patrols and tactical vehicle traffic.

"This is a primary road for us," said Capt. Christopher Heinen, 455th ESFS. "Bringing so many tactical vehicles down it has caused a lot of damage to the road."

Heinen hails from Colleyville, Texas. He is deployed from Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.

He explained the importance of the road to the local community, as it not only connects the two villages, but runs between a local school and a mosque. The road also leads to one of the largest humanitarian hospitals in the area, providing health services to the local population.

"The way the road was before, people would have to risk damaging their vehicles traveling on it, or they would have to walk," Heinen explained. "By fixing it, the Afghans will have an easier time traveling between the two villages."

Local villagers watched the project progress, and many of them thanked the Airmen for rebuilding the much-traveled and vital road.

The mile-long stretch in need of repair required four loads of rocks, brought in by dump trucks, several passes with a grater and finishing with a rock crusher. All throughout the process, security forces Airmen provided overwatch for the mission and personnel.

"It's definitely a team effort," said Tech. Sgt. Grant Allestad, 455th ESFS. "We've been coordinating this for several months now, and it's good to see it all come together."

Allestad is deployed to BAF from Great Falls, Mont., which is his hometown.

Since a few security forces airmen have licenses to operate heavy machinery, they were able to help the Prime BEEF members with the project.

"We're giving the people here a safer road to travel," said Master Sgt. Adrian Roth, 577th EPBS. He is deployed from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and hails from Festus, Mo. "We're fulfilling a promise we made to them several months ago. It feels good to leave them with something that will make things better for them, and something that will last."