Construction nears end in Suriname
By Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 12, 2011
PARAMARIBO, SURINAME - -- The construction of seven support facilities that have been built over the summer will draw to a close over the next few weeks as a part of New Horizons 2011 here.
"Six hundred and twenty-eight active, guard and reserve U.S. Military personnel from 15 different units will complete seven projects three weeks ahead of schedule and under budget" said Lt. Col. John Blackwell, New Horizons 2011 Task Force commander. "They will deliver first class community support facilities to the people of Suriname. One team, one exercise."
The final four construction projects to be completed are at the 85-95 percent completion stage with final electrical and plumbing being worked on this week.
LTS IV, a school in the heart of Paramaribo, is closest to completion with minor touchup work remaining. Tech. Sgt. Joshua Horton, 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, NV, is the project manager and has been with the project since the beginning on June 6, 2011.
"The facility has come together with the help of some of the students who go to the school as well as local vendors to install things like the HVAC and the windows and doors" said Tech. Sgt. Horton. "We've worked hand in hand with them to get this project completed."
The estimated grand opening date for the LTS IV School will be July 28, 2011.
The second school being built, PCL, is located in the Wanica district of Suriname. This project is currently being worked on by the Marine Wing Support Squadron 472nd Detachment B, Westover Air Force Base, MA, and final inspections are being performed by the local power company on the electrical systems. This project will celebrate with a ribbon cutting July 29, 2011.
Along with the two schools near completion, two medical clinics are being built. The first of these clinics is located in the Commewijne district in Alkmaar. Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard's, 114th CES arrived on July 11, 2011 and have been working to complete the interior finishes of the clinic.
"We meet a lot of the local people in the area and some of them just come up to us to thank us and we get a feeling that what we are doing here is a really good thing for the people of Suriname." said Lt. Col. Al Punt, 114th Civil Engineer Squadron commander.
The second clinic that members of New Horizons 2011 are working on is also located in the Commewijne district in Nieuw Amsterdam. This project started one week behind and is quickly catching up and is at 85 percent completion. Both the 556th RED HORSE Squadron and 445th CES are currently partnering to complete electrical as well as outside work ahead of the August 5th ribbon cutting.
"The neighbor right next door to the construction site is the good doctor who will work at the clinic and he comes out every day and is all smiles about the new modern facility that he'll have to service the local community" said Master Sgt. Dave Feerick, 556th RED HORSE Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL.
That doctor, Dr. Edward Pinas, regional health services physician, believes the new facility will be a wonderful addition to the old clinic which still stands adjacent to the construction site.
"It will greatly improve our service to the patients and will also be a joy to work in with more room to add more services to our patients. Infants and prenatal visitation will be easier with the separate rooms for these services." said Dr. Pinas.
The prevailing feeling here in Suriname was expressed by Dr. Pinas when he said, "Thank you. We are very fortunate to get this gift and it will take us forward and we thank all the military and government people who helped make it happen."
New Horizons is a cooperative humanitarian mission between the Suriname government and the United States Southern Command with the goal of helping to improve the quality of life for the people of Suriname.