The Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) went on missions “outside the wire” (off base) for many different reasons. Most often the PRT Engineers had some part to play in whatever PRT missions happened. The main reason the PRT Engineers had to go off base was to complete site visits of the various projects located throughout Kapisa province.
The PRT Engineers were also involved in meeting with Afghan leaders. One of the PRT Missions landed us In the capital Mahmood Raqi. The PRT met with the Governor and different representatives ranging from the Ministry of Education to Reconstruction Development Leaders. On another PRT Mission, we ended up In local communities. One of the PRT missions had us set up a shura with local leaders.
The PRT members met with local leaders (shura members). In one of the meetings we had with local leaders over 300 people came to see what the outcome of the shura would be. Even though only a handful of Afghans were part of the actual discussion.
Another PRT mission requirement was when there was a grand opening or celebration. At these events, there would be a form ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by the PRT awarding the contractor with a certificate of appreciation. After the ceremony, the contractor would provide food for the PRT members and the local villagers. The visit for the grand opening would often be a chance for one last final inspection. Our team would make sure all the final inspection items had been taken care of.
Damage assessment missions
I got the opportunity to go on a few damage assessment, one was for an inspection of a culvert after an improvised explosive device (IED) had gone off on a French convoy and the damage assessments were to inspect sever flood damage at various locations in Kapisa after a huge flood that even caused flooding on our Forward Operating Base. The picture above shows me with my hand in what once was a bridge. The floodwaters were as high as three feet above the bridge. The flood was so severe throughout Kapisa many of our roads had major flood damage.
This is part 4 of my PRT Series. Next will be Part 5: PRT Challenges