6 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-152

Making a difference, Making New Friends

URUZGAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - In the villages of Uruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan, the cultural centre of the communities is the local mosque. Like most of the infrastructure in this war and strife-ravaged nation, local mosques are often in disrepair and in need of building improvements and general maintenance.

It is against this background that members of ISAF carry out the rapid reconstruction projects on village mosques in Uruzgan Province as one facet of the rebuilding mission.

The repair work is not purely an ISAF effort. As one of their ongoing projects, the soldiers and officers of the 1st Reconstruction Task force, Australia’s largest contribution to ISAF, have been training and mentoring Afghan National Army Engineers, who join the Australians and work side by side to improve the village mosques and other required infrastructure.

As they work to erect new roofs, repair damage and improve the facilities, locals watch on, many lending a hand with a shovel or an encouraging smile and shake of the hand.

“Our Engineers have completed works in and around this mosque which is a key community facility. We’ve worked alongside engineers from the Afghan National Army in order to complete this task and doing so raised awareness of ISAF’s reconstruction role here in Afghanistan.” Lieutenant Adam Tull, from the Royal Australian Engineers said, during one of the so called “backyard blitz” operations.

By the end of the job, the villagers receive a repaired place of worship and ISAF had made many new friends.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/