'Steel Spike' engineers complete work on FOB Justice
June 17, 2009
BAGHDAD - The engineers of Equipment Platoon, Headquarters and Support Company, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, wrapped up several crucial upgrades at Forward Operating Base Justice in central Baghdad, May 25.
For three weeks, the engineers worked to reconstruct four firing ranges, build a helicopter landing zone and to rebuild an ammunition holding area (AHA) to provide a separate area for explosives in order to increase mission readiness for U.S. and Iraqi Forces.
"These are critical areas for the FOB," stated Staff Sgt. Eddie Fortenberry, the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the reconstruction efforts, from Columbia, Miss. "We need to get them up and running and in good working condition as quickly as possible."
Rebuilding the ranges was very important to ensure that they were safe to use for both Iraqi and Coalition Forces. One range was so badly damaged it had to be completely removed, while the other three required extensive repairs.
"By building up the ranges, we were able to ensure that no Iraqi civilians would ever be in danger," said Spc. Colby Rees, of Hartford, S.D., NCOIC of the range project, 46th ECB (H).
With a time crunch to have the upgrades completed quickly, the engineers completed the demolition, upgrades and rebuild in under a week. This allowed the Soldiers at the FOB to continue training with very little interruption.
The helicopter landing zone was the largest undertaking, requiring the destruction of an old range, clearing of debris and leveling out so helicopters could land. The newly-completed area will allow units at FOB Justice the ability to use helicopters for medical evacuations and logistics.
The final stage of the upgrades was the rebuilding of the AHA. The main focus was to separate the area which held ammunition from the explosives to increase safety.