From the event

16 Nov 2007

PR# 2007-712

ISAF donates over $1 million in construction equipment to Bagram Province

KABUL, Afghanistan – Members of the ISAF Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team recently donated more than $1 million in construction equipment to locals in the community.

The seven pieces of equipment will be used to repair damage caused by flooding in the Salang Pass, keeping Afghanistan connected to Tajikistan through the winter.

“The pass was built nearly 40 years ago by the Russians,” said Army Col. Jonathon Ives, Task Force Cinncinatus commander. “Since its creation, the pass has become a vital link between these countries.”

More than 2,000 vehicles drive through the pass everyday, including trucks carrying fuel and clothing from the North. Afghanistan exports agriculture products and the route is also used to bring coal from Bayman Province to the eastern part of the country.

“I visited the pass several months ago after flooding had wiped out entire portions of the road,” Ives said. “I saw the equipment the Afghans were using to rebuild the road.”

The colonel saw that the people were working to repair the road themselves, but modern equipment could better facilitate their efforts.

The donated equipment included two large graders, a large flat-bed truck, two bulldozers and two hydraulic excavators, one with a bucket and the other with a hammer attachment.

The Afghans already have trained heavy equipment operators, “but we will provide follow-up training especially with upkeep maintenance,” Ives said.

This equipment will not only be used to repair the flood damage in Salang Pass, but it will also be used to keep the road passable throughout winter. 

The pass gets more than five meters (15 feet) of snow during the winter and this equipment means the trade route between these countries won’t be closed during the winter, Ives said.

“For this area we needed equipment badly to keep the road open during the winter,” said Afghan Maj. Gen. Rajab, Salang Pass Maintenance Group commander, through an interpreter. “This equipment can also be used through several areas to help with emergency repairs.”

The delivery of the equipment came just one day before the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was going to meet with the provincial governor about how he planned to keep the Salang Pass open during the winter.

“This was perfect timing,” Ives said. “Now the governor can give a good report to the president.”

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/