NACO, Honduras (May 22, 2012) -- U.S. military engineers working with Honduran forces are making headway building two schoolhouses and two medical clinics in rural communities as part of Beyond the Horizon Honduras.

Beyond the Horizon 2012, or BTH, allows U.S. military personnel to sharpen their occupational skills while bringing lasting benefits to the people of Honduras, officials said.

Service members are building a medical clinic at the Flores de Oriente construction site.

U.S. Army engineers have already poured a concrete pad, built the walls, and poured concrete into the walls for the clinic. Work to be completed includes installing caps on the walls, putting together the roof trusses, adding a roof, and pouring sidewalks.

"I like doing projects like this a lot," said Staff Sgt. Charles Rosser, the rotational noncommissioned officer in charge from the 758th Engineer Company, 841st Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade. "It gives me a sense of pride knowing that this clinic will help the local people."

Oriente's clinic is approximately 60 percent completed.

The Soldiers using their engineer skills are building a second clinic in the town of Quimistan.

"When I got here this was just a concrete slab," said Sgt. Stracy Devero, 758th Engineer Company.

Now the clinic has walls and doors. The engineers will pour a sidewalk and install plumbing, put together trusses, put up drywall on interior walls, and install a shower.

"This has been an outstanding exercise to be a part of," said Devero. "The troops get to put their knowledge to work and have the opportunity to learn some additional skills."

The Quimistan clinic is approximately 50 percent complete.

The fourth construction site is in the village of Michelleti. Troops there are building a schoolhouse.

"The first rotation did the groundwork preparation and poured the foundation," said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Vitale, project manager and member of the 294th Engineer Company, 203rd Engineer Battalion, 35th Engineer Brigade.

The second and third rotations put up the walls and poured concrete into the exterior walls. Some of the next projects include putting together the roof trusses, installing doors, electricity, plumbing, and pouring sidewalks.

"We're also going to build a 'justa' stove, which is basically a stove made out of clay tiles and bricks, for the people to cook on," Vitale said. "It's just something nice to give to the locals here."

The BTH mission has been coordinated with the Honduran government and is planned hand-in-hand with a variety of other governmental and non-governmental organizations to creatively address the level and scope of care required with the availability of U.S. forces.

BTH 2012 is a U.S. Army South planning exercise that deploys military engineers and medical professionals to Honduras for training, while providing services to rural communities. BTHs are conducted annually in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility and are part of its humanitarian and civic assistance program.

Page last updated Tue May 22nd, 2012 at 00:00