FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan --
The Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), are currently in the midst of a first-time operation. They are constructing a route between the Nowa and Marjah districts in Helmand province.
The multiple-week project along Route Victoria will bring a route to an area that has no other distinguished roads.
“Basically there is no set road here right now [so] it’s important for Helmand province as a whole,” said 2nd Lt. Ian Chuckran, the operations platoon commander with Alpha Company, CLB-1. “It will provide trafficability even after the Marines and coalition forces leave the area.”
The construction will include multiple phases over its course. The land needs to be leveled, blast holes need to be filled in, gravel needs to be transported to the worksite from various areas and culverts will be emplaced for irrigation and flood prevention.
“The interesting part of this mission is all the different aspects of this route,” said Chuckran. “Raising the road, the placing of culverts, and all of the civilian considerations, drainage considerations, and general mobility and engineering considerations is stuff you don’t really learn about or think about until you are actually on the project.”
Upon completion, the road will provide coalition forces with a safe route between the districts, as well as give locals the chance for commercial growth. Route Victoria is a long-lasting solution and will continue to allow Helmand province stay open for business.
“Building a longer lasting road like this should provide the government and the people the opportunity to travel between districts and create that freedom of movement that will allow the government to be successful later on,” concluded Chuckran.