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A half-million-dollar U.S.-built police training center in Afghanistan was so badly constructed that it is literally "melting" and is such an "embarrassment" that the Afghan government is rebuilding the complex itself, U.S. investigators said in a report released Thursday.
The training center in Wardak province, which replicates a typical Afghan village to simulate police searches and other operations, was built with substandard materials by the Afghan contractor and began to disintegrate just four months after it was completed in 2012 — due to shoddy construction that was allowed to happen because U.S. Central Command contracting commanders failed to oversee the project appropriately, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in the report.
CENTCOM didn't dispute any of the report and said it would try to find and, if necessary, discipline the contracting commanders responsible.
CENTCOM overseers failed to notice any of the deficiencies, which allowed water to seep into the complex and erode the walls of the dry-fire training range — so-called because training is conducted without using live ammunition — according to the report.
Among other problems it said weren't flagged were that the roof was built of plastic with a concrete cap, instead of the sturdy gravel and contract called for under the contract, that sand bricks that were too small were substituted for the agreed-upon clay bricks and that support beams weren't securely fastened to the structure.
CENTCOM disputed none of the allegations, saying in an attached response that would take corrective action, including seeking compensation from the contractor if appropriate.