Engineers Ensure Safe Living Areas at COS Carver
Prior to turning on the electricity, Spc. Brandon Burgess, of Hammond, Ind., with 317th Eng. Co., makes sure all connections are secure while Pfc. Sean Carroll of Dyer, Ind., 317th Eng. Co., observes the process. Soldiers from 317th Eng. Co., are providing power to new housing units for Soldiers of 10th Mountain Division at COS Carver.

BAGHDAD- Soldiers from 317th Engineer Company and 808th Engineer Company are providing electricity to the future living spaces of U.S. Forces as they prepare to hand off their current housing to Soldiers of the Iraqi Army.

The move will happen as soon as Soldiers from 1434th Engineer Company complete the new Joint Operations Center at COS Carver. The IA will then occupy a portion of Carver that is currently home to Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division.

The engineer are busy digging ditches, upgrading electrical boxes, burying cables, and connecting boxes to generators, which provide housing units with electricity. The new units, known as CHUs, will allow the Soldiers of 10th Mtn. Div., to vacate the space that the IA Soldiers plan to utilize as they expand independent operations.

Sgt. 1st Class Theodore Blanford, 1434th Eng. Co., is responsible for some of the work done by the Soldiers of 317th Eng. Co. He was impressed with the hard work done by the Soldiers; they dug most of the concealment ditches by hand.

Spc. Josue Delgado, of San Antonio, Texas, with 808th Eng. Co., explained how important it is to make sure all of the boxes are wired correctly to ensure safe living areas for Soldiers.

"We had to make sure the boxes didn't piggyback off each other. They all have their own electric supply, they are all routed and grounded properly, which is important," said Delgado. "This makes sure there are no fire hazards."

The most time consuming part of the project was digging the ditches to bury the electrical wires underground from the generator to the electrical boxes. They dug, by hand, more than 60 feet of trenches to conceal the cable.

Another challenging aspect of the project was salvaging the existing electrical boxes.

"The electrical boxes we used came from the [scrap yard.] We had to pick through, find proper boxes, then drill holes in the bottoms of the boxes to feed the wire through," said Delgado.

Creating housing to relocate the 10th Mountain Soldiers is a vital part of U.S. forces handing responsibility to the Iraqi Army at COS Carver, he said; key to the responsible drawdown of U.S. forces.

Page last updated Thu January 14th, 2010 at 13:18