From the Ground Up

Two Air Force engineers assigned to the US military’s provincial reconstruction team in Panjshir, Afghanistan, had the opportunity April 1 to participate in a ceremony to lay the first stones of the foundation for a new building project. Capt. Jason Aftanas deployed from Andersen AFB, Guam and Capt. Kenneth McGinnis, deployed from Ellsworth AFB, N.D., represented coalition forces at the stone laying for Khenj District’s new justice center. The $220,000 building is expected to be complete in January 2009 and furthers one of the key tenets of the PRT mission: governance. Each captain took his turn and laid a stone beside that of Mohammad Yousef Qata, the district’s chief justice. Then, in traditional Afghan custom, the two airmen were offered candies to drop into the foundation. “It makes me feel really good to know the people of the district wanted us to be a part of this celebration,” said McGinnis. (USAF report by Capt. Jillian Torango)