Kandahar Airfield

Technical responses to water, wastewater and vehicle wash rack sections of the winning $30M+ bid for providing Utilities Services to the Kandahar Airfield (KAF).

NATO Support Agency (NSPA)

Kandahar Airfield (KAF)

The mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) includes the provision of assistance to the Government of Afghanistan in the reconstruction and restoration of public infrastructure. KAF was located in southern Afghanistan approximately 16 km southeast of the City of Kandahar and 60 km northwest of the Pakistan border. Home to over 12,500 soldiers and civilian contractors, KAF played an integral part in supporting the ISAF mission.

Contract Award

The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) was responsible for the contracting of logistic support operations to deployed NATO/ISAF and International Partner forces based at KAF. This included a Request for Proposal (RFP) to contract the provision of Utilities Services for KAF.

I wrote technical responses to water, wastewater and vehicle wash rack sections of the winning $30M+ bid for providing Utilities Services to the Kandahar Airfield (KAF).

Base command was transferring from U.S. to NATO control. There were no accommodations, offices, maintenance areas or storage facilities available.  We constructed all required facilities as well as source, procure, and deploy over 200 pieces of major equipment and spare parts needed to support this equipment in a remote and harsh operating environment.  

Utilities Services

Four annexes were included in the Utilities Services RFP for the provision of the following:

  • Potable and Non-Potable Water Production, Storage and Distribution
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant and Infrastructure
  • Vehicle Wash Rack Operations
  • Collection and Disposal of all Solid, Hazardous Materiel (HAZMAT), Medical and Metal Waste

Over 500 contractor personnel were deployed to KAF in response to winning five major contracts with NAMSA. I served as the Utilities Manager overseeing the four areas of utilities service. We completed on-site training and assumed responsibility for delivery of contract services within 90-150 days of contract award.

KAF Water Crew

Potable and Non-Potable Water Production, Storage and Distribution

  • Three wellheads for potable water production
  • Two wells for non-potable bulk water filling stations for delivery to Forward Operating Bases (FOB)
  • Two reverse osmosis water purification units (ROWPUs) and a skid-mounted nanofiltration unit.
  • Over 1,000,000 m3 of potable water produced annually and a comparable quantity of non-potable
  • 8,500 m3 of potable water storage on site (enough for camp population x 200L x 3 days)
  • One potable bulk water filling station for delivery to FOBs
  • Third-party, off-site confirmatory water testing at an ISO-certified laboratory in Dubai, UAE
  • Over 12 km of underground water mains
  • Conducted chlorination and bacteriological testing on water main repairs conducted by roads & grounds work crews

Wastewater Treatment Plant and Infrastructure

  • General operation and maintenance of WWTP equipment
    -Pond with nine aerators
    -Two EQ tanks
    -Four bioreactors
  • Monitoring wastewater treatment plant system flows and effluent
    -Calibration of on-line meters and laboratory equipment as required
    -Effluent discharge sampling for BOD5, TSS, pH and microbiological parameters
  • Maintenance of daily operations logs and recording of process data
  • Wastewater collection system
    -Routine maintenance of the lift stations and dining facility (DFAC) grease traps
  • Maintaining a record of users discharging waste water at the designated drop-off point
    -Approximately ¼ of the daily wastewater received via vac trucks
  • Operated through a subcontractor

Vehicle Wash Rack Operations

  • One dedicated well
  • 27 cubic foot water recycling system
  • Sediment catch troughs
  • Underground oil/grease separator
  • One 500 USG water storage tank
  • Two 20’ containers for storage and an office equipped with an air conditioning unit
  • Six lanes with high-pressure washer units with spray nozzles providing 1015-1450 psi of pressure
  • Miscellaneous equipment such as compressor, portable pump, and 30 kVa transformer
  • Operated through a subcontractor

Collection and Disposal of all Solid, Hazardous Materiel (HAZMAT),
Medical and Metal Waste

  • Managing transportation for waste collection
  • Sorting waste materials into 13 streams (DFAC wet waste, DFAC dry waste, general waste, wood, cardboard, PET bottles, aluminum, glass, metals, tires, hazardous material, controlled material, and medical waste)
  • Recycling program reduces 30-34% of the general waste
  • Managing hazardous waste materials for transport to offsite treatment and disposal
  • Disposal of medical waste through incineration
  • Implementing and managing recycling and waste reduction programs
  • Recovered used oil program for local benefit
  • Hired local workers and equipment owner/operators
  • Operated through a subcontractor

I have had the good fortune of working with Mike Hewitt, now owner of Almaquin Enterprises Limited, on numerous projects and assignments over the last 16 years.
Working with Mike in 2007 and 2008, when I was Project Manager with ATCO Frontec providing base services at the NATO airbase at Kandahar with a population of approximately 30,000, Mike was responsible for setting up and operating the water and wastewater treatment facilities.  These responsibilities included equipment installation and commissioning, significant testing and monitoring of the well water, overseeing water treatment and the extensive distribution system, plus the condition of the effluent from the wastewater treatment plant.  Under sometimes extremely hazardous conditions, with demanding clients, Mike's organization of his team, his thoroughness of training and attention to detail, provided safe drinking water and an effective treatment of the wastewater throughout the period.
After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, again as ATCO Project Manager, I had the good fortune of Mike playing a major role in setting up three (40ft by 100 ft) Sprung Shelters as temporary offices for the Haitian government, complete with independent power generation, air conditioning, separate offices, IT, internet and all normal office facilities. Mike's organizational skills made him the logical choice to lead a mixed team of Haitians and expats in the construction and outfitting of the buildings. We met our installation time targets despite the significant handicaps imposed by the Haitian Customs system and infrastructure devastated by the earthquake. Mike's broad technical understanding of facility systems and his leadership were key to our success.
We had slightly reversed roles in contributing to SkyAlyne's successful proposal to the Royal Canadian Air Force FAcT (Future Aircraft Training) project in 2022 and 2023, where Mike played a mentoring role for me while making major contributions to the overall IGY6 participation.  Mike took the time to assist me and others not as familiar with the program, in understanding the requirements and our roles, and was one of the major reasons that our client, SkyAlyne, considered IGY6's inputs significant in the win. Mike's role and the IGY6 preparation of a following large charter air proposal resulted in our client being chosen the preferred bidder.
Robert (Bob) McLeod, Project Manager
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