Georgia helping Georgia: 412th TEC, Georgia NG provided humanitarian assistance to Republic of Georg
June 4, 2014
VICKSBURG, Miss. - A Soldier from the 412th Theater Engineer Command visited the Republic of Georgia May 17 to 24 to conduct a site survey and create a statement of work and bill of materials.
Capt. Stewart A. Cathey, 412th operations training support officer, provided his expertise in a humanitarian civil assistance project for the Republic of Georgia School for the Deaf in Sachkhere.
Cathey surveyed the school building and met with the teachers and headmaster to receive their input.
"We figure out what they want and build a plan to turn their vision into a reality," said Cathey, a Monroe, Louisiana, native.
The school is not currently handicap accessible and consists of two large rooms. The plan is to divide the rooms so teachers can provide instruction in each of them, as well as upgrade the bathroom and doors for handicap accessibility.
Missions like this are significant for the 412th because the engineers can provide a needed service, according to Maj. Bradley Borgos, 412th TEC assistant operations officer.
"The 412th TEC continues to support real-world missions," he said. "We provide a technical engineering capability that is in great demand."
By surveying the site and identifying building materials needed, Cathey laid the groundwork for the next phase: building.
The labor to provide the upgrades will be provided by U.S. Georgia National Guard Soldiers later this year.
"It's good for the Army because it gives National Guard Soldiers an opportunity to work on their skills in a deployed environment," said Cathey. "It helps the 412th in the same manner. It lets Soldiers in the 412th use engineer skills they may need in a deployed environment."
The 412th TEC worked closely with the Bilateral Affairs Office within the Georgia National Guard State Partnership Program, to coordinate this mission. In the National Guard State Partnership Program, each state is partnered with a country. The Bilateral Affairs Office serves as a liaison between the two.
Borgos believes the 412th is an asset to the Bilateral Affairs Offices.
"They're program is enviable and we don't want to take away from that," said Borgos. "What we can do is augment it and provide that technical engineering piece that they may not have available."
Cathey believes this mission was the first step in the 412th TEC supporting some of the other 64 Bilateral Affairs Offices.
"At the end I asked, 'How can the 412th support these offices?'" said Cathey. "There is a huge potential to support these offices all over the world."
Not only is there potential with the Bilateral Affairs Offices, but also between the Reserve and National Guard units themselves.
"I definitely think this is an opportunity for the 412th to expand its reach and nurture and grow the relationship created with the National Guard," said Cathey.