CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, Estonia - Under the clouds and rain, the tap of hammers and buzz of saws echoed through the Central Training Area woods, outside Tapa, Estonia, May 21, as U.S. Army engineers did their part in the effort to strengthen relationships between the United States and Estonia.
"Our guys are building b-huts that will be used as classrooms for units that are coming here to Estonia to train," said Capt. Shawn Cook, commander of 902nd Engineer Company, 15th Engineer Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade. Along with the huts, the engineers will also improve the sniper range, and are in the process of building a tank road, he added.
"What Estonia would like to do, is start having other countries come here and train with them," said the Spartanburg, South Carolina, native. "These facilities will enable our allied partners to do that."
Despite the weather, the construction zone kept moving, as Soldiers used old bunkers as shelter while they made their cuts with power saws.
"This is exactly what we do as engineers, we go out and construct," Cook said. "We could be somewhere else but we'd much rather be here in Estonia helping our NATO allies in constructing these buildings."
Through this experience, Cook knows his Soldiers are learning valuable lessons.
"Not only are they learning another culture, but they are also learning a little bit more about what it means to be part of NATO and that alliance," said Cook.
Sgt. Kelvin Hervey, a squad leader with 902nd Engineer Company, was glad to have the opportunity to train his Soldiers.
"Getting out on the ground swinging hammers and getting every thing done is a good experience for them," Hervey said. "They are learning their job and honing their craft."
As the engineers, diligently worked to complete their projects, Hervey stated he was proud to be a part of building the partnership between the U.S. and Estonia.
"I love doing what we do," said the Water valley, Mississippi, native. "The United States is here. We stand behind them in a united front.