By 1st Lt. Brett Carter, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandApril 16, 2013
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii-- The 561st Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command not only helps out around the community and in foreign nations, but it also helps out other military services.
The Soldiers of the 561st spent the last two months helping the Kaneohe Marine Corp Range Facility with much needed horizontal construction work.
Due to heavy rains on the windward side of Oahu, much of the Marine Base is washed away regularly. The runoff collection has caused a lot of damage to the facilities' roads and ranges. The Soldiers of 2nd Platoon, 561st Eng. Co. rebuilt a portion of the roads and drainage systems that had been washed away.
Though the work site was beautiful, situated among some of the most picturesque parts of the island, it didn't come without risk and the unmistakable characteristic of work.
Overall it took 45 days of sweat and hard work to complete about a half-mile portion of gravel road to include more than 400 yards of drainage v-ditch, 800 blocks of low water crossings, and more than 600 yards of drainage ditch and ditch liner.
To accomplish this mission, the platoon planned and prepared for three months, and from the start, the project served to be a memorable and unique experience for many of the Soldiers involved.
"Unlike previous missions this one was unique because it pulled us out of the Army routine and gave us a real construction mission that would be used for years to come," said he senior squad leader, Staff Sgt. Carl Price. "It was also the first time we messed with some of the new construction materials while on this mission."
Others in the unit agreed.
"This mission was nicely laid out," said Spc. Daniel Martin, heavy equipment operator for the 561st. "The materials that we were working with were really nice. We didn't have to fight with rocks, dust storms, or not having the proper tools. We were able to lay the ground work and utilize our machines to the fullest. Also everyone got a chance to try out the equipment. It was a change for once that some of our lower enlisted got chances to take leadership roles on the project as well."
This project was significant because it enhanced the operational and training environment of the Marine Corp Range Facility. This range, however, is not only a Marine Corp Facility but also a place where all the military and government services on the island train. The work completed allowed service members full access to the facility as well as provided protection against environmental concerns involving waste in the ocean.
Overall the mission was a success and the platoon completed another great construction project. They were appropriately rewarded by receiving a beautifully framed plaque presented by the Marine Range Maintenance Office after the project was completed. The relationship developed with the Marines has already led to mutual assistance with many training aspects and will hopefully lead to many more.