Here's yet another sign that the U.S. military is entrenching itself deeply into the soil of Afghanistan.
The Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting bids for work designing and building "multiple facilities in support of specialized task force missions at Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan." Included: hangars for CH-46/CV-22 aircraft, a "pre-engineered mission planning facility, aircraft apron for 6 rotor and 2 fixed wing aircraft, and taxiways."
A) It'll take a year to build this thing.
B) It signals something about the nature of our presence, too: the U.S. does not have many places in Northern Afghanistan to safely land and refuel its helicopters.
C) The VC22 is used primarily by troops belonging to the Army Special Operations Command.
The Army is prepared to pay as much as $100 million to get this built in 300 calendar days, according to the solicitation.
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Marc Ambinder is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.