By 2nd Lt. Angela Smith, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandApril 30, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii-- The 26th Concrete Detachment, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, constructed two concrete pads on Wheeler Army Airfield these past two weeks to hold museum aircraft pieces for the joint 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and the Tropic Lightning Museum Memorial.
Prior to construction, the helicopters were sitting on an improvised arrangement of garden cement blocks. The deputy commander of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade highlighted the importance of these pads to his organization.
"The newly constructed concrete pads will help to preserve the proud legacy and accomplishments of our 25th Aviation Soldiers from the past," he said. "The legacy of the Cobra and the Huey set the stage for the aviation Soldiers of today and it is fitting to have the displays improved. With the addition of the new concrete pads, the 25th CAB, our community, and guests who visit Wheeler Army Airfield into the future will be able to better appreciate the historical foundations of Army Aviation."
Likewise, the Tropic Lightning Museum Curator, Kathleen Ramsden, had similar comments.
"We are thrilled that with the combined help of Soldiers from the 130th Engineer Brigade; the Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; and the 25th Infantry Division Staff," she said. "The installation of concrete pads under the aircraft at the Aviation Memorial has become a reality. We are so thankful to everyone involved in this project for making it happen."
The 26th Concrete Det. is one of only seven in the Army and the sole military unit of its specialty in Hawaii. It uses an M5 Concrete Mobile Mixer, of which it has three, for all of its concrete production operations.
This piece of equipment is ideal because there are no time constraints like an in-transit concrete mixer might have. You can load all of the materials separately into the mobile and then transport them to the construction site where it produces concrete on demand. It is more or less a roaming concrete plant. Waiting hours or days to pour is not an issue because the materials only mix together right as the concrete comes out of the mobile.
Not all construction companies have this piece of equipment, because It takes highly skilled operators like those in the 26th Concrete Det. to understand how their mixes affect the compressive strength of the concrete, how to operate the different material gates and systems on the Mobile Mixer. The operators possess skill sets unique to other concrete detachments which include the ability to operate the Palletized Load System vehicles that transport their Mobile Concrete Modules, concrete finish work, formwork, and other construction skill sets.
For this project, the concrete detachment worked with Soldiers from the 643rd Vertical Construction Company, 142nd Survey and Design Detachment of the 84th Eng. Bn., and the 130th Eng. Bde. THS. It was just one example of 26th Concrete Det.'s willingness to provide flexibility and coordination to work with other units, and to complete a variety of projects. The 26th Concrete Detachment is always willing and ready to assist any unit or organization in need of a concrete pour.