Smoothing Out the Rough Spots

Airmen of the 732nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron’s Det. 6 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, have been preparing for the US military drawdown in Iraq by leveling a former munitions storage area on the base to create the space for shipping containers to be repaired there. “We’re preparing this site; moving thousands of yards of fill, cutting some areas, and filling in some others,” said Maj. Karlo Jajliardo, the construction team’s commander. This team expects to meet the Nov. 15 deadline set for the project’s completion. Once done, an Iraqi contractor will set up there and start restoring the shipping containers so that they are sea-worthy to carry US and coalition equipment back to home stations. Estimates are that repairing more than 30,000 containers—as opposed to buying new ones—would save more than $100 million. (Balad report by SrA. Andria J. Allmond)