FORT RILEY, Kan. - Soldiers from Fort Riley and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., are working together for the benefit of both installations.

The 94th Engineer Battalion is a construction effects battalion from Fort Leonard Wood. It includes two horizontal companies, one vertical company, and a survey and design section.

This battalion began construction on a trench system Sept. 11 on Range 53.

"It's going to be a range complex essentially for every unit at Fort Riley," said Capt. Shelley Gramling, 94th Eng. Bn. operations officer.

According to information from the 94th Eng. Bn., "the intent is for the trench system to be the centerpiece of a larger task force level attack scenario using small arms, artillery and air assets. It will be very realistic and challenging."

The trench is 820 linear feet and had 13 bunker complexes.

During construction, the 94th Eng. Bn. will dig out approximately 100, 20-ton dump truck loads of dirt.

The trench was designed by the 156th Survey and Design Detachment and is being constructed by the 103rd Engineer Company and the 77th Engineer Company. The 103rd Eng. Co. is in charge of horizontal work.

They handle earth-moving operations such as road building, air landing strip building and trenches.

The 77th Eng. Co., in charge of vertical work, handles basic carpentry including plumbing, electrical and concrete masonry block construction.

The horizontal company has been at Fort Riley since the beginning of the project and will remain at Fort Riley until it is finished.

"There's still earth work to be done. While they're here, we'll be supporting them," said 2nd Lt. Daniel Sunden, 1st Platoon leader.

Sunden has a civil engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and is project manager for the trench project.

"We're out here for 35 days, me and my Soldiers. Out here we work a lot closer together because there are always tasks to be accomplished," Sunden said.

He said this project has allowed him and his fellow Soldiers to apply the skills they have learned and has taught him the value of planning.

"Our (noncommissioned officers), they execute and make things happen out here. This is where I get to see them do that. I provide them with the plan ... and they get it done," he said.

Gramling said the trench construction project helps the Soldiers with the 94th Eng. Bn. become more proficient in their wartime mission.

"This is a good opportunity for them to operate heavy equipment doing a real construction project under some direct supervision according to a specific design ... it's great training really," she said.

This is the first time since Gramling has been with the unit that the 94th Eng. Bn. has done construction off of Fort Leonardwood.

She said the deployment to Fort Riley itself was a good learning experience.

Once the Soldiers arrived at Fort Riley, they had only the equipment they brought, which is why planning was so important.

Between providing training to the 94th Eng. Bn. and a new trench system for Fort Riley, the project has been beneficial to both installations.

"So really it's a win-win because ... it's really a big construction project and it's a pretty big deal to Fort Riley and the 1st Infantry Division ... it's perfect," Gramling said.

The 94th Eng. Bn. is part of the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade which is part of the 1st Inf. Div.

According to information provided by the 94th Eng. Bn., they are working with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security at Fort Riley to plan other projects they can execute on the installation.

The expected completion date for the trench project is Oct. 16.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16