HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan --
Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) completed road improvements near the village of Shir Ghazay, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, improving trafficability for local villagers as well as coalition forces.
The engineers repaired four kilometers of road starting from the patrol base south of the town, weaving through the Shir Ghazay bazaar, and ending at the town of Gurjat.
The road was in terrible condition prior to the Marines’ arrival, said Capt. Curtiss Peck, company commander for Headquarters and Service Company, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“It looked more like a roller coaster ride in some areas and had deep ruts that came to the tops of our [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected all-terrain vehicle] wheels in other areas,” said Peck, 32, from Muskego, Wis.
In addition to road repairs, the Marines also improved or replaced several culverts to aid in the crossing of several dried river beds, or wadis. The culverts also aided local farmers in irrigating their fields, said Peck.
“Nearly all the locals that we had the opportunity to interact with expressed a lot of gratitude for the work we were doing,” added Peck.
The improvements will not only aid the local community, but also infantry Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, who conduct daily patrols through the village, providing security from the Taliban.
“For 1/8, this brought them significant credibility in the town by being able to deliver on a project that improved the lives of Shir Ghazay residents and shop owners,” said Peck.
Ninth ESB Marines will continue to make road repairs throughout Helmand province, aiding the movement of Afghan National Army soldiers, NATO forces and local nationals.