BARAHONA, Dominican Republic -- U.S. Army and Air Force engineers assigned to Task Force Larimar are participating in the 2014 humanitarian civic assistance mission Beyond the Horizon here. In this mission, sponsored by U.S. Army South, service members are building schools and clinics for the local citizens. This annual humanitarian exercise provides assistance to various Latin American countries by providing medical care and engineering projects to local citizens.
Not only does Beyond the Horizons 2014 allow the troops to provide humanitarian assistance to the host nation, but also allows the troops to refresh their skills and get cross-trained in different areas. During this phase of the mission, the engineers will be laying concrete blocks for a school building and finishing a roof at a medical clinic.
"When they come here, they learn to build different types of constructions," said Sgt. Maj. Darrell Sears, quality assurance for Task Force Larimar. "For engineer units, being well-rounded is really crucial"
Beyond the Horizons is supported by National Guard and Reserve units, conducting their annual training on a rotational basis. The rotations typically begin their work flow at a slow pace to ensure they pick-up where previous rotation ended. This provides them with the opportunity to become organized and ensure service members know what their tasks at-hand will be. Once the units get into their rhythm, the troops work together to ensure they complete their task, lending hands wherever it is needed.
"They typically accomplish more on the last four days than they do on the first six," said Sears.
In addition to support from service members from around the United States, locals from Barahona province are doing what they can to help out.
"We have had a great relationship with the local nationals. They have been real helpful to us getting whatever we need out here," said Spc. Michael Molby, a native of Brainerd, Minnesota, and an interior electrician, with the 389th Engineering Company out of Middletown, Iowa
With Beyond the Horizons 2014 continuing through the end of June, engineer units with Task Force Larimar will continue to play their part in the humanitarian mission, getting one step closer to completing the permanent structures for generations to come in the province of Barahona.