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Bulen takes command of Afghanistan Engineer District
COMBINED FORCES COMMAND AFGHANISTAN ^

Posted on 08/03/2006 5:36:45 PM PDT by SandRat

KABUL, Afghanistan — Army Col. William E. Bulen assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Afghanistan Engineer District from outgoing Commander Army Col. Christopher J. Toomey on Aug 2 during a change of command ceremony here.

Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, presided over the transfer of leadership while Master Sgt. Eric O. Johnson, AED’s Command Sergeant Major, oversaw the exchange of colors. Lt. Gen. Eikenberry used the occasion to reflect on America’s continued commitment to Afghanistan illustrated in the District’s work. “As we look to improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure, AED is helping to lead the way with over 400 kilometers of district roads, micro-hydro power, dams, irrigation systems, schools and clinics,” Eikenberry said. “Working closely with an international community, this command is often ‘leading from behind’ to serve as a motivating engine of change. As engineers, we know they shape the landscape. But, they are also shaping society. They are transferring their skills to a generation of Afghans who are now learning principles of construction and construction management that ensure what is built will last.” Lt. Gen. Eikenberry praised Col. Toomey for his energy and serving as a catalyst for success in Afghanistan’s engineering community. AED is leading the way in developing capacity in Afghanistan, said Eikenberry declared. “Your efforts will be felt for decades to come.” The general welcomed Col. Bulen to the team, noting that Bulen’s 26 years of Army experience, including two previous district commands, makes him ideal to lead AED’s engineers.

As AED’s commander, Col. Bulen is responsible for AED’s programs and projects that cover the full spectrum of regional support and Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan operations. Programs and projects fall into four major areas: Afghan Security Forces; US/Coalition Forces support; Counter Narcotics and Border Management; and Strategic Reconstruction, which includes support to the U.S. Agency for International Development Commander’s Emergency Response Program and Pakistan. To date, the total AED program is valued at nearly $ 1.8 billion. In addition to Afghanistan, AED’s geographical areas of responsibility include Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

In addition to his position as district commander, Col. Bulen serves as the staff engineer for CFC-A. In this role, he oversees all engineering activities for the military and the Department of Defense, including construction of roads, bridges and forward operating bases.

“This District has a fine reputation throughout the Corps for getting things done,” said Bulen. “Like the commanders before him, Col. Toomey has done a great job. I hope to continue in that tradition.” Toomey reflected on the district’s mission and the role of the engineers who work here, noting the engineers are rebuilding a country, much as they accomplished the same mission for the early days of the United States. “The Corps built defenses for a fledgling United States as it faced a hostile world,” said Toomey. “The Corps opened the interior (of the United States) with roads and bridges.” The Corps is building roads in some of the most remote locations of the world, delivering significant economic benefits, said Toomey. He noted these efforts dramatically improve the lives of the citizenry and increase their confidence in their government. “As I leave Afghanistan…I will carry inside me the spirit of the Afghan people who are the true strength of this country,” said Toomey. “It is their spirit that will endure in my heart.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; bulen; command; district; engineer; takes

Photo - see caption

CHANGE OF COMMAND — U.S. servicemembers, Afghan army soldiers, dignitaries and civilians render honors during the Afghanistan Engineer District's change of command ceremony, Aug 2, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Maureen C. Ramsey

Hi-Res | Story | Lead Photo Archive


1 posted on 08/03/2006 5:36:47 PM PDT by SandRat
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