• U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the movement of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the movement of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan...

  • With a lightning storm approaching, U.S. Army soldiers from Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, provide security for the 1438th Engineer Company, Multi-Role Bridge, Missouri National Guard, as they construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the Khowst - Gardez Pass, Paktya province, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    With a lightning storm approaching, U.S. Army soldiers from Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, provide security for the 1438th Engineer Company, Multi-Role Bridge, Missouri National Guard, as they...

  • Soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), listen to a ramp brief prior to going on a mission to pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    Soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), listen to a ramp brief prior to going on a mission to pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge...

  • A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, monitors the progress of a Mabey-Johnson bridge as it rolls across the span it is intended to cover, near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, monitors the progress of a Mabey-Johnson bridge as it rolls across the span it is intended to cover, near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan...

  • U.S. Army Pfc. Tyler M. Caporale, an indirect fire infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), sits with his mortar tube at the top of a mountain near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army Pfc. Tyler M. Caporale, an indirect fire infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), sits with his mortar tube at the top of a mountain near the...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the construction a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the construction a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013...

  • An U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, monitors the progress of a Mabey-Johnson bridge using hand signals, as it rolls across the span it is intended to cover, near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    An U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, monitors the progress of a Mabey-Johnson bridge using hand signals, as it rolls across the span it is intended to cover, near the village of Laka...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security from a mountain top for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security from a mountain top for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepare to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S...

  • With the assistance of an interpreter, an U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, talks to villagers of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, about the construction of the Mabey-Johnson bridge, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    With the assistance of an interpreter, an U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, talks to villagers of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, about the construction of the Mabey-Johnson bridge, Sept. 2...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the movement of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, utilize an excavator to assist in the movement of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan...

  • As an excavator works on the bridge site, U.S. Army Pfc. Edwin Grau, an infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    As an excavator works on the bridge site, U.S. Army Pfc. Edwin Grau, an infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer...

  • U.S. Army Pfc. Edwin Grau, an infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army Pfc. Edwin Grau, an infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build...

  • Villagers watch as U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    Villagers watch as U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, construct a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade...

  • A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, uses a wrench to loosen the bolt of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, uses a wrench to loosen the bolt of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, hand-loosen the bolt of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, hand-loosen the bolt of a transom while constructing a Mabey-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army...

  • A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepares to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, prepares to hook up a section of bridge to an excavator to assist in the construction, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013...

  • A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, signals an excavator to move during the construction of a Mabey-Johnson bridge, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, signals an excavator to move during the construction of a Mabey-Johnson bridge, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S...

  • A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, uses a mallet and bolt to knock a pin loose during the construction of a Mabey-Johnson bridge, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    A U.S. Army soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, from the Missouri National Guard, uses a mallet and bolt to knock a pin loose during the construction of a Mabey-Johnson bridge, in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of...

  • U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army soldiers with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pull security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of...

  • U.S. Army Pfc. Tyler M. Caporale, an indirect fire infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company at their build site near the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Sept. 2, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    Missouri Guardsmen build bridge helping Currahee movement

    U.S. Army Pfc. Tyler M. Caporale, an indirect fire infantryman with Gunfighter Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security for the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge...

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - "During the rainy season of this past year the abutment of an existing bridge had washed out, collapsing half of the bridge," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Keene, soldier with the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company, and native of Columbia, Mo. "This bridge helps facilitate [traffic] the forward operating bases that are around this area, fixing it will help the civilians also by keeping them from driving in the creek bed and out of harm's way."

To bring a measure of ease to vehicular movement, soldiers with the 1438th Engineer MRBC, Missouri National Guard, constructed a Maybe-Johnson bridge in the village of Laka Tiza, Afghanistan, Aug. 30 through Sept. 3.

"So far it's been a little rough due to threats we've received," said Capt. Mack Gaono, company commander of 1438th Engineer MRBC, Missouri National Guard, and native of Cape Girardeau, Mo. "The biggest thing for us is staying here until we get the job done."

Working in a fast-paced, potentially hazardous, environment is a difficult obstacle to overcome, especially for new soldiers without the experience of a previous deployment.

"About two thirds of my soldiers are new to the unit and have never deployed before," explained Gaono. "I've been in 17 years and haven't deployed, this is my first. I've been waiting years for this. This, right here is what we've been trained for,"

The long hours spent in preparation for their deployment shows. Though some of the company has not been in country yet a week.

"I'm enjoying this [deployment] so far, I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid," said Spc. Shelton Johnson, native of Novinger, Mo., and soldier with 1438th Engineer MRBC. Serving his country is something he has always felt strong about and being able to put his training to use gives him a sense of accomplishment.

"I think it's gone pretty smooth for the most part," Johnson said. "We ran in to a couple of snags, we had a couple of bays that wouldn't work with us, they bent up but we were able to tweak them to get them to work."

"With fixed bridging, there's always one small thing that will set you back a couple of hours," said Keene.

Overcoming setbacks, they worked diligently around the clock and other than those few small hiccups in construction, the weather held and they completed their mission.

Page last updated Tue September 17th, 2013 at 00:00