Missouri Soldiers put leftover building materials in Honduras to good use
July 6, 2012
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QUIMISTAN, Honduras (Army News Service, July 6, 2012) -- When Task Force Tropic came to Honduras, their orders were clear: Its Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen were expected to complete four construction projects.
As U.S. Army South's Beyond the Horizon-2012 draws to a close, the task force has completed 15 projects, said Missouri National Guard Capt. Timothy Biedenstein, the 35th Engineer Brigade's liaison officer to U.S. Army South.
In Quimistan, excess materials are being used to build offices adjacent to the medical clinic, which already stood out as the task force's most ambitious project, said Biedenstein, who lives in St. Louis. The Guardsmen were approved to construct the offices from leftover materials from previous projects.
"My personal goal is to use all excess materials," Biedenstein said. "We already paid for it, so we might as well use it."
Before starting a new project, though, Biedenstein had to figure out what he had left.
"Basically, once they finished the original projects, they brought all the excess materials up to Forward Operating Base Naco," Biedenstein said. "Our Soldiers lined all the materials out so I knew what I had to work with."
Because each project had approximately 10 percent more material than it needed, there was enough left over to make three offices, complete with five windows and three doors, Biedenstein said.
Before traveling to the work site, Soldiers did a "dry run" at their base to make sure everything fit, said Sgt. David Koenig, of St. Louis.
"It went smoothly," Koenig said. "But it was a little tough at the end when we had to put in the final piece."
When it came to putting the offices together on site, everything fell into place, said Spc. Blake Ferguson, of Festus.
"It fit together pretty well," Ferguson said. "It fits like Legos."
The Soldiers working on the project knew they would be racing to finish projects as the clock wound down, said 1st Lt. Kevin LaPlante, executive officer of the 220th Engineer Company.
"We knew it would either be a lot of cleanup and breakdown, or non-stop," LaPlante said. "Or it would be nonstop -- long, long days of trying to catch up. We'd always rather be out here working a project.
Beyond the Horizon 2012 will finish operations in early July.