Three-day construction course
Lieutenants from the 84th Eng. Battalion, those currently serving in a platoon leader position as well as those waiting to take over a platoon, discuss some of the issues that they commonly run into with construction projects during the three-day

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The only construction effects engineer assets in all of the U.S. Army-Pacific can be found in the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, here.

As the 84th Eng. Bn. conducts missions across the Pacific theater of operations, it is frequently split to allow for a maximum outcome while assisting with multi-force and multi-national missions.

Therefore, the battalion usually deploys in modular units, sometimes as small as a large squad size.

For example, platoons from the 523rd and 561st Eng. companies, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., have been working on a road construction mission outside Columbus, N.M., since October. The mission is broken into phases, in which different platoons take over a different phase.

The overall project involves improving more than four miles of road for the U.S. Border Patrol, which will allow agents to maintain a presence close to the border to battle threats such as terrorism and drug trafficking. The road is scheduled to be complete this summer.

With the battalion's platoons often splitting off to complete construction projects on their own, young leaders have a great opportunity to grow and excel in their career fields.

1st Lt. Tikisha Delarosa, leader, 1st Platoon, 561st Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., recently spent 45 days on the project in New Mexico. While there, Delarosa had support from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative, but she was the officer in charge of the mission and responsible for all mission-essential tasks.

"The commander was always available for me to call or email with questions, but I think it was a great mission for a platoon leader, because you are out there by yourself," Delarosa said. "All you have to worry about is construction, and with about 60 percent of my Soldiers being fresh out of Advanced Individual Training, it was a good experience."

Lieutenants in the battalion, like Delarosa, were also recently given an opportunity to spend three days meeting with construction subject matter experts. The three-day-course allowed lieutenants currently serving as platoon leaders and those getting ready to enter into the position to go over what the current construction standards are and to bounce ideas and issues off of each other.

"I thought the opportunity was fantastic," said 2nd Lt. Diana Worth, assistant personnel officer, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. "The course helped me focus on the job (that) I am here getting ready to do. It (also) gave me the chance to focus solely on my branch for a week. I won't be in my current job forever, so I found it useful to see what I will be using as (a platoon leader)."

Page last updated Tue May 17th, 2011 at 16:38