FORWARD OPERATING BASE CHAPMAN, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Sabari District elders celebrated the construction of a new district center during a groundbreaking ceremony May 16 just outside of the town of Yaqubi in Khost Province.
The event was attended by Khost Governor Arsala Jamal, district sub-governor Gul-Quasim Jihadyar and Cmdr. Dave Adams, commander of the Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).
During the meeting, several of the elders addressed Jamal regarding their opinion on the progress of security and projects in the district.
After the meeting, the crowd moved to the proposed site of the new district center, where Jamal and Adams laid the building's first stone.
The new district center is meant to replace the current one located in the center of Yaqubi, said Army Capt. Greg Kellough, team leader for PRT's Civil Affairs Team Alpha, who is stationed in the area.
The district center serves as a town office and houses the district sub-governor and the town's security forces. It is used to hold town meetings with local elders, where they come to meet with the sub-governor and present the needs of their people. From a security standpoint, the current district center's location and size put it at a disadvantage, Kellough said.
"It's located in the middle of town, right on the main road and surrounded by other buildings," he said. "This new site is farther out from the town, allowing for 360 degrees of security, and a farther line of sight."
The new district center is of a more modern and efficient design, valued at $240,000. It will have a kitchen area, bathrooms, and a fully functional police headquarters.
This expanded area will allow for an increase of security forces, said acting Deputy Police Chief Gul-Rahim.
"We're going to place more checkpoints and do everything we can to increase security in this area with these new assets," he said
The new district center is scheduled to receive a joint garrison of Afghan National Army and Policemen, said Gul-Qasim.
"I know security is going to get even better," he said.
The project was started when elders went through the process of bringing their needs to the government, Kellough said.
"We want them to know that those who get a lot done are the ones who go through this process," he said. "The governor, not us, is the one who decides what will be built and the things that get built -- we want them to last."
One elder voiced his thoughts during the meeting on the need to work with the government.
"Having the government working for us is like having salt in your food, without it, the food doesn't taste good," he said.
For more news from Provincial Reconstruction Team, Khost Afghanistan visit, www.news.navy.mil/local/PRT Khost/.