Enhancing Quality of Life at Camp Arifjan: USACE Cuts the Ribbon on the Unaccompanied Officers Quarters

Set within the austere terrain of the Kuwaiti desert, Camp Arifjan serves as a pivotal base for U.S. military operations in the Middle East. However, beyond its strategic significance, it serves as a temporary home for countless service members and civilians deployed in the region. Recognizing the importance of quality of life in sustaining morale and operational effectiveness, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District is spearheading initiatives to transform the living conditions and facilities at Camp Arifjan.

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At the forefront of these efforts is the ambitious construction project of the Unaccompanied Officers Quarters. More than just a building, the UOQ represents an oasis for unaccompanied officers as they execute their missions in and around Camp Afrijan. With its sleek amenities and thoughtful design, it aims to provide a comfortable and conducive environment for 300 unaccompanied field grade officers amidst the challenges of deployment.

The Unaccompanied Officers Quarters, shown Apr. 19, just prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, is a product of close collaboration between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District, U.S. Army Central, the Kuwait Armed Forces, and the Kuwait Ministry of Defense, embodying a shared commitment to enhancing the quality of life for those who serve on the base. USACE PHOTO BY CATHERINE CARROLL

Brigadier Gen. William C. Hannan, Jr., USACE Transatlantic Division commanding general, traveled to Kuwait to speak at the UOQ’s ribbon cutting ceremony and share his thoughts on the importance of the project and on the value of the partnerships that enabled its successful completion.

“Today, we celebrate a milestone that underscores the enduring partnership and shared commitment between Kuwait and the United States – and between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our regional mission partners and allies,” Hannan said. “As we gather to cut the ribbon on the Unaccompanied Officers Quarters, we celebrate more than just a construction milestone, this project represents a significant investment in the well-being and effectiveness of those who serve here.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on April 23 and was also attended by key Kuwait Ministry of Defense and Kuwait Army officials; Col. Mohamad Z. Rahman, USACE Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander; U.S. Army Central Area Support Group – Kuwait Directorate of Public Works personnel, as well as many base service members and civilians who have watched it evolve from start to finish. The event marked a pivotal moment in fortifying the living standards for service members at Camp Arifjan, underscoring the collaborative efforts and commitment of all involved in realizing this essential infrastructure construction.

“Army Central Command and the Kuwait Area Support Group are crucial to our operations here in Kuwait,” Hannan emphasized. “This project in particular holds great importance as it directly enhances the quality of life for our military members deployed to Camp Arifjan and underscores our commitment to their well-being and readiness in fulfilling their missions. Camp Arifjan’s significance as a key base in the Middle East necessitates continuous improvements in force protection and quality of life. This initiative strengthens our ability to effectively operate in the region.”

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. William C. Hannan, Jr., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division commanding general, along with key Kuwait Ministry of Defense and Kuwait Armed Forces officials; Col. Mohamad Z. Rahman, USACE Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander; and Area Support Group – Kuwait Directorate of Public Works personnel cut the ribbon on the Unaccompanied Officers Quarters at Camp Arifjan Kuwait, Apr. 23. USACE PHOTO BY CATHERINE CARROLL

Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, U.S. Army Maj. Michael N. Daschel, ASG – Kuwait Directorate of Public Works projects officer in charge shared his thoughts on this project.

“Aside from being a new, comfortable living space, these buildings will allow Soldiers to be housed in more permanent quarters, Daschel said. “There are also practical features incorporated into these buildings, such as walk-in showers and epoxy flooring to name a couple, that will reduce maintenance due to their simplicity. Housing is probably the biggest driver of morale. I don’t think there’s anyone housed at Camp Arifjan that wouldn’t prefer to live in these new buildings.”

Hannan echoed these sentiments on the benefit of living space for the military officers who will soon call it a home away from home.

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“Without a doubt, this project will significantly boost the overall morale, resilience, and operational effectiveness of personnel deployed to Camp Arifjan,” Hannan said. “Soldiers that have a dedicated barracks that enables them to sleep and recharge, will be more effective – especially in the stressful situations and long days that are a just a natural part of being deployed.”

However, the Expeditionary District’s commitment to the wellbeing of Soldiers extends far beyond the UOQ. Through a range of projects, including upgrades to living quarters, recreational facilities, and infrastructure, the district is reshaping the fabric of life at Camp Arifjan. Each initiative reflects a dedication to enhancing the well-being and resilience of those stationed at the base.

Rahman, who volunteered to serve his 25th year in the U.S. Army leading USACE’s only forward deployed district in support of named U.S. Army operations, will also be retiring shortly following his redeployment, articulated the significance of these endeavors and his thoughts on leading such a unique mission.

“Serving as the Commander of the Transatlantic Expeditionary District was the most rewarding assignment of my 24 years of Army Reserve career,” Rahman shared. “This is a unique district with exceptional mission in theater. The expeditionary construction projects that this district is involved with have a direct impact on improving the quality of life of our own troops as well as multinational forces deployed in theater. The most important part of this command is that I had the opportunity to work with the most talented engineers, planners, scientists, and environmental professionals from across the USACE. I am honored and indebted to those who supported me for successful completion of this command and accomplishment that we had together.”

The Army Corps of Engineers endeavors at Camp Arifjan are emblematic of its dedication to excellence and the welfare of those who serve. As the base evolves, one thing remains clear – USACE’s commitment to enhancing quality of life will continue to shape the experience of all who call Camp Arifjan home.

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