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Finished in Time to Leave: Army civil engineers completed final construction of a strategic airlift apron, freight loading dock, and new passenger terminal at Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan. The $18 million expansion project "will play an important role as the coalition begins to move equipment and personnel out of theater," said Col. John Hokaj, Shindand commander. The 56,000-square-meter loading apron "allows us to keep the runway in operation as we load and unload our large strategic-lift aircraft," added Hokaj. Before construction of the passenger terminal, Shindand officials had to process personnel transiting the air hub through a makeshift tent facility. "The service members who will fly out of this excellent, modern, and well-constructed building will thank all the members of the team who made this facility a reality," said Col. Ben Wham, Afghanistan Engineer District-South commander. Engineers turned the apron over to the Air Force on Jan. 11. (Shindand report by Mark Ray)