Italiano Republic of Djibouti

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Castle Building Project Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti


This project supported U.S. Navy requirement to terminate a submarine telecommunications cable onto Camp Lemonier. The Castel Project consisted of designing and building the infrastructure needed to support the submarine cable, the shelter where the communications equipment was to reside, as well as civil, electrical and signal infrastructure.


Compliance with Perfomance Schedules

Michael-Bruno was called upon for this project based on their past performance with prior Camp Lemonnier design projects, under ex-tremely tight deadlines. A delay in the Castle Building project would cost the U.S. govern-ment $21 million, as the ship laying the sub-merged cable would charge this if the dates were not met.

Michael-Bruno took on this challenge, working 24 hour days, seven days a week in both the Naples, Italy, and the Djibouti offices to deliver a detailed civil, electrical, and signal infrastruc-ture design in 14 days.


Michael-Bruno provided a design package to provide construction subcontractors with the exact specifications on how to build or con-struct the following:

Shore Landing
consisting of a water proof beach manhole (3x3x3 meters) used to house submarine and fiber optic cables.

Beach Ductwork.
From the shore landing beach manhole to the Castel Building Services (CBS) shelter there shall be ductwork to route cabling. The ductwork shall be support with vaults, or manholes, not to exceed 100 meters apart from one another. The ductwork shall run in an East to West direction. The vaults shall be connected with 2 rows of 3 each 150mm PVC (Schedule 40 or greater) piping. The top row of 150mm PVC shall have 3 each PVC inner ducts (between 40-50mm each). Once the ductwork is installed, a lean concrete mix shall be poured over the entire ductwork, from the shore landing to the shelter.

Beach Vaults
. Each vault, or manhole, from the shore landing to the shelter shall have a ground-ing system with a ground bus exothermically bonded to a 2 meter ground rod installed outside of the vault.

CBS Shelter
. The shelter shall be located East of the existing Petroland camp. The shelter’s dimension will be 80 meters by 60 meters. The design shall include 2 each vehicle access gates and 3 each pedestrian gates. Gates to the inner shelter shall be controlled with electronic key-pads. Lighting shall be added to the 4 corners of the shelter. The shelter shall be raised by 1 me-ter from its current elevation. Crushed gravel, 10-15mm, shall cover the area by 3-5cm.

Shelter Power
. The shelter generator shall pro-vide sufficient power to support a 400 Amperage (220/380VAC) load. The generator shall operate in standby mode and connected to an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). The ATS shall be con-nected to the Camp Lemonier prime power via a 750kVA transformer. The output of the ATS shall feed the Main Distribution Panel. A con-crete pad shall be poured for the generator, ATS, and electrical panel. An earth ground shall be tied to the generator.

Shelter Containers.
The Container Work Unit (CWU) shall be 2 each 8’x40’ containers joined together. Presently the requirement calls for one
assembled (1) CWU to be installed in a North/South configuration. The Equipment Communications Unit (ECU) shall consist of 3 each 8’x20’ containers joined side-to-side in a 24’x20’ (foot) configuration. Presently the re-quirement calls for one assembled (1) ECU to be installed in a East/West configuration. A 400 Amperage service panel shall be installed in the ECU. Concrete footers and pillars shall be con-structed to support a weight of 15,000 kilograms for the ECU and 5,000 kilograms for the CWU. The main distribution panel located in the ECU shall provide 40 amperage service, as a sub panel, to the CWU. Both the ECU and the CWU shall be anchored to the concrete pillars and sit at least 25cm above grade. Electrical and signal ductwork and manholes shall service the ECU.

Work Area
. The work area shall be 10 meters by 3 meters. The floor shall be poured concrete with a wooden structure to protect persons from the elements.

Satellite Pad
. A satellite pad shall consist of a 2x2 meter concrete pad. Ductwork and man-holes shall service the ECU from this pad.

MV Grid
. A Medium Voltage (MV) grid shall be installed from Camp Lemonier’s prime power to the shelter. The ductwork and vaults, or man-holes, shall follow Camp Lemonier standards in appearance and design. The ductwork shall support 3 phase MV power at 11kVA. The MV grid shall terminate into a 750kVA transformer located outside of the shelter (Southwest corner). A vault shall be located outside the Alternate TCF as part of this grid. Any ductwork crossing under roads shall be encased in concrete.

Fiber Runs
. Fiber shall be run in existing man-holes/ductwork as space is available. For con-gested areas, a separate communications ductwork shall be installed to support the fiber pulls. No splicing of the fibers between the shel-ter and its termination point shall be permitted. A bundle of fiber shall be pulled from the shelter to the following locations: Camp Lemonier demar-cation point – 24 fibers; Building 111 – 24 fibers; Building 115 – 24 fibers (following SIPRNET standards); Building 401 – 48 fibers (following NIPRNET standards); Alt TCF – 24 fibers (fol-lowing NIPRNET standards)

Wireless Alarms
. The shelter shall be moni-tored by wireless alarms for smoke and fire with-in the ECU and CWU.

. A grounding loop shall be installed and tied to the ECU and CWU containers.

PCAS Services

Michael-Bruno also performed full Quality Control/Quality Assurance during construction using their Djibouti-based, USACE certified QC manager. This individual was responsible for acceptable of all materials and work per-formed by subcontractors. He also prepared daily and weekly reports for the Camp Lemonnier Public Works Department and NAVFAC.