By Sgt. Matthew Moeller, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsSeptember 8, 2008
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - "You have trained long and hard for the challenges that lie ahead, and you should feel confident that you are ready," said a proud Lt. Col. Scott Petersen, 65th Engineer Battalion commander, to more than 30 members of the 70th Eng. Company during the unit's deployment ceremony here, Aug. 28. The unit, part of the 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Brigade (provisional), will depart for Iraq and then be divided into small teams to provide geospatial engineering support and training to multinational forces throughout Iraq, said 1st Lt. Trenton Burgess, 70th Eng. Co. rear detachment commander. Geospatial engineering, also known as topography, involves surveying geographical areas, and creating and distributing maps as well as other terrain identification materials. According to 1st Sgt. Oswaldo Arevalo, the 70th Eng. Co.'s first sergeant, the work will be long and difficult, but the Soldiers are feeling motivated and ready to face any challenges ahead. "I can't wait to go honestly," said Pvt. 2 Jim Althaus, a geospatial engineer with 2nd Platoon. "I'm still learning (my job), but I've had a lot of training, so I'm prepared." "Still learning" is what makes this unit's deployment a special one. Less than a year ago Soldiers were divided into two separate roles: lithography and topographic analysis. Now, as part of the Army's continuing modularization, the two jobs have become one, and the unit will be among the first to deploy with the new title of geospatial engineers. But, according to 70th Eng. Co. Soldiers, the transition was an easy one. The Soldiers are confident about their training experiences on Oahu, the Big Island of Hawaii, and Korea, which have left them feeling prepared for any task ahead. "My Soldiers are ready for this," said one sergeant, proudly. "They've worked hard, and now it's going to pay off." "Many of (the Soldiers) have learned the skills of geospatial analysts when, less then a year ago, (their) job was to operate presses," said Petersen. "Simply put, (they) are prepared to take care of each other and the commanders (they) support. You have truly come together as teams of teams," Peterson said. The 70th Eng. Co. specializes in geospatial surveying support. While deployed, the Soldiers will augment additional units throughout Iraq by assembling tactical maps and providing data analysis to service members.