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Army hardens Afghan Accommodation

The British Army in Afghanistan is looking at using a type of reusable formwork which can create ready made panels for military accommodation.
The formwork could be used as the armed forces switch from tented accommodation to more permanent, blast resistant structures.

The formwork system has been developed by the Australian army in Afghansistan.

It comprises steel shutters which form entire wall panels, leaving gaps for doors and windows.

Moves towards the construction of more permanent accommodation follow the recent admission by Prime Minister Gordon Brown that British military presence in Afghanistan will continue for years to come.

The move will result in increased spending at bases like Camp Bastion in Afgahnistan’s Helmand Province.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Chambers of the UK Works Group based at Kandahar estimates an infrastructure spend of $150M (£75M) for the 2007/08 financial year – up significantly on the £36.2M spent in 2006/07.

Chambers estimates that the Royal Engineers will spend up to £126M in the next 18 months.

Major Crispin Ellisdon of the Royal Engineers force protection engineering cell was in Kandahar last week to examine the tilt-up method’s blast protection properties.

He said there would not be an immediate decision on whether to use the new method.

Some basic modifications to the Australian army design have already been mooted.

These include tying in the joints instead of welding them to create greater structural strength.

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