HELEMANO MILITARY RESERVATION, Hawaii -- With a snip of the Signal orange ceremonial ribbon, 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion made history, opening an impressive new motor pool on Helemano Military Reservation that will vastly improve their ability to efficiently conduct maintenance, train, and deploy teams and equipment.
As 516th Signal Brigade Commander Col. Cleophus Thomas, Jr., and 307th ESB Maintenance noncomissioned officer in charge Sgt. 1st Class Travis Lamb jointly wielded the ceremonial shears, a collective sigh of relief could almost be heard from the Soldiers gathered to witness the July 22nd occasion.
Previously, getting to the motor pool meant 30 minutes of travel to Schofield Barracks, where the facilities were sorely lacking, but locating the new facility across the street from the battalion headquarters will enable increased productivity in a vastly improved environment.
"Schofield [Barracks] was like working in the field compared to what we have now", explained Lamb, one of the key 307th personnel responsible for movement coordination to the new motor pool. "It's going to be easier to conduct proper maintenance," he said, adding, "This new motor pool is outstanding, and it gives us opportunities for vast amounts of training to all 91 series MOS'."
The arrival of first convoy vehicle, Humvee B6, represented another significant achievement for the 307th and 516th. Company B Commander Cpt. Timothy Mussack's stepping out and greeting Thomas and 307th ESB Commander LTC Mark Miles not only signaled the arrival of the Co. B vehicle, but marked a significant step in the enduring and challenging task of moving 307th's entire transportation and maintenance resources to the new location.
"Moving all equipment and clearing the old motor pool will test our ability to command and control, and show us where we're at when it comes to maintenance," Mussack said, as he walked towards Co. B's portion of the prestine vehicle staging area.
The new state-of-the-art tactical equipment maintenance facility, located at 500 Mua Road on HMR, is an impeccable structure. Composed of one large, primary building and a row of smaller, compartmentalized bays, the building offers the 307th ESB a tremendous increase in maintenance space and top quality working conditions. Also located in the main building are classrooms and a host of additional amenities not available at the former motor pool on Schofield Barracks.
As vehicles successfully moved from Schofield Barracks to HMR throughout the day, it became evident that extensive preparation for the relocation had paid off. The move involved 53 vehicles, and was planned and executed as a tactical convoy to enhance the training value of the event.
"Everything went really smoothly, and we had no problems," said Co. Pfc. Tyrell Freeny, one of drivers who made repeated trips between the old and new motor pools.
The event will be a memorable one for Thomas, who assumed command earlier this month.
"One of my first events as a Brigade Commander is cutting the ribbon for this tremendous motor pool," Thomas said. "I know the 307th will take pride in the motor pool and ensure that it is well taken care of."
Miles echoed those sentiments, adding, "The upgraded maintenance facilities and convenient location will lead to a vast improvement in our overall ability to deploy our teams and equipment on short notice."