Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Middle East District’s (TAM) Kuwait Program Management Office and Members of the Kuwaiti military held a ribbon cutting ceremony July 5th to celebrate completion of a Kuwaiti PATRIOT missile defense battery.
The ceremony marked the completion of a small part of a larger $48m project to modernize Kuwaiti PATRIOT infrastructure throughout the country.
“Although, this project is still ongoing, we talked to our Kuwaiti partners and together we decided to hold the ceremony to mark completion of this particular site because it’s a good representation of the construction challenges we faced during COVID and how we overcame them,” said Aaron Hoover a program manager and Kuwait Section Chief in the District.
During the height of the COVID pandemic, construction came to a halt for 150 days. However, rather than completely lose the time, members of the Kuwait Program Management Office worked closely with their Kuwait military counterparts and representatives from Wara Construction, the contractor on the project, to make modifications to the schedule and complete various administrative functions behind the scenes so they were ready to go as soon as restrictions were lifted. Using an aggressive schedule, they were able to make up significant time once construction resumed.
Brigadier General Kimberly Colloton, the commander of USACE’s Transatlantic Division, spoke at the ceremony and tied together the symbolism of the site and the 30th Anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation from Iraqi occupation.
“I find it appropriate to reflect on how over these last 30 years we have continued to strengthen our partnership and grow it to this point where we are today, true partners anchored by our mutual defense interests throughout the entire region. Kuwait is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Arabian Gulf, this is demonstrated by the fact that we are here on a Kuwaiti site with Kuwaitis providing for Kuwait’s air defense in tandem with U.S. assets providing protection to U.S. forces here in Kuwait,” said Colloton.
The project will not only increase Kuwait capabilities but also provide quality of life improvements for Kuwaiti Air Defense forces manning the site. Construction included a new Engagement Control Station building, guard towers, a headquarters building, prayer facilities and a power plant building among the improvements.