Afghan Electrical Workers Receive Bucket Truck Training

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' 249th Prime Power Battalion non-commissioned officers conducted the training on safety fundamentals, power line maintenance, operating bucket trucks, and operating augur trucks used to drill and place utility poles.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program provided training earlier this month for 15 engineers and technicians employed by Da Afghaninstan Breshna Sherkat, Afghanistan's electric utility company, in safe operation of 10 newly donated electric utility trucks, Karla Marshall reported on the ACE website Dec. 21.

Her article quotes Nabi, an engineer who is operations chief in Helmand Province for the utility, as saying the trucks and training equipped his workers to solve electrical problems for many years. The workers' graduation ceremony took place Dec. 11, she reported.

Her report says ACE's 249th Prime Power Battalion non-commissioned officers organized and conducted the classroom and hands-on training on safety fundamentals, power line maintenance, operating bucket trucks, and operating augur trucks used to drill and place utility poles.

"This training is absolutely critical to safely and effectively using the trucks donated by Regional Command-Southwest," Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Hopkins, USACE's Prime Power liaison to battle space owners in Southern Afghanistan, said in her article. "Using these vehicles to emplace a 3,000-pound concrete utility pole is not something these guys can learn from an operator's manual. We had the capacity to teach." "We stressed safety throughout the course but really focused on it in the beginning," added Staff Sgt. Daniel McKinney, the senior noncommissioned officer, who deployed to Afghanistan from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. "The men were used to climbing poles with scaffolding and open-toed shoes. We gave them information and the tools to work more safely."

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