Communications Center in Kuwait is ahead of schedule

Published March 25, 2011
Col. Ron Light (center), MED commander, talks to a representative from CH2M Hill about the project’s progress. (USACE Photo by Erick Barnes)

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The Communications Center here is ahead of schedule and setting a high bar for future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in the country.

The Middle East District’s Kuwait Resident Office is overseeing the construction being performed by CH2M Hill. The facility will house theatre command, control, communication and computer assets, and includes designated areas for information operations, network operations, and associated technical control. Supporting features include independent electric power generation and connection to base water and sewer.

“The contractor has a good group here,” said Maj. Mark DeSantis, MED’s resident engineer in Kuwait. “They are top-notch, always looking at the schedule and trying to stay ahead.”

Roger Thomas checks out a newly installed generator at the Communications Center project site located at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (USACE Photo by Erick Barnes)

DeSantis attributes their success to good management and selecting a qualified sub-contractor in the Kuwaiti company Kharafi National. Representatives from MED, the contractor, and the customer also meet weekly to ensure all parties stay informed, and to address any concerns or issues.

“We expect the user to have the keys in June and they are happy to take the facility early,” said DeSantis. “There are some change orders and mods working, but nothing that should hold up progress.”

“I was impressed with what I saw,” said MED Commander Col. Ron Light, following a tour of the facility. “The quality looked great. The mechanical and electrical on this project is amazing.”

According to Roger Thomas, MED’s chief of Construction Operations Division, the quality of materials is good and limited on-site storage times have helped preserve that quality, especially in the steel.

Thomas also pointed to continuity and consistency as a key to success. “The same team that started this project is still in place,” he said.

The contract was awarded on Sept. 23, 2009, and a Notice to Proceed was issued Oct. 23, 2009. The project is scheduled for completion on Nov. 3, 2011, and is currently 10 percent ahead of that schedule.

Right: Jon Fentress, chief of MED’s Safety and Occupational Health office, performs an inspection on the site. Below: Roger Thomas (left), chief, Construction Operations Division, Middle East District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, talks to a contractor's representative about quality on the project site for a new communications center at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (USACE Photos by Erick Barnes)

Erick Barnes

Release no. 13-028