You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Mock Afghan village under construction in S.D.

Jun. 24, 2013 - 12:55PM   |  
  • Filed Under

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. — Army National Guard soldiers are building a mock Afghanistan village in western South Dakota that will be a target for Air Force bomber practice missions.

Members of the 842nd Engineer Company, which returned home last fall after a year of duty in Afghanistan, are helping build the village north of Belle Fourche on the military’s Powder River Training Complex, where Dakotas-based B-1 and B-52 bombers practice for combat.

The goal of the project is to give Air Force flight crews training in identifying an Afghan village from the air, and practice in targeting combatants while protecting allied forces and civilians. The area in the future might also be used as an urban warfare training site.

Soldiers are building roads, mock walled enclosures and irrigation ditches around a mock garden area, the Rapid City Journal reported. They are even building the roads to a low standard so they look as they would in a civilian area of Afghanistan.

Few Americans know the look of an Afghan village better than soldiers of the 842nd. Their year of construction projects took them through different areas of the landlocked nation of high plains and mountains.

“We built berms that are supposed to represent walled compounds,” said Sgt. 1st Class Rob Carr of Lead. “It will look similar from the air, and it will give the feel of an Afghan village.”

The 842nd also was responsible for getting 19 worn-out steel shipping containers onto the site to give bomber crews a passable equivalent of an Afghan village. South Dakota guardsmen brought the containers from North Dakota, and members of a Pennsylvania National Guard unit moved them to the site as part of a multistate military training exercise conducted recently in the Black Hills.

Air Force Maj. Damen Criswell and Power River range manager Shawn Pyle of Ellsworth Air Force Base visited the site last week and gave tentative approval of the village.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook