By by Nondice Powell, Courier staffJanuary 16, 2009
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- Jan. 16, 2009 -- For the second time in three years Fort Campbell's 2nd Brigade Combat team has taken first place in the Directorate of Public Works' Facility Maintenance Incentive Program. In an awards ceremony Jan. 8, the unit was awarded $60,000 they can use for a project for their unit.
"This is our third year winning an award," said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Engelhardt, 2nd BCT facility maintenance technician. "Last year we were awarded $25,000 for second place and the year before we took first."
This is the third year DPW has held the competition. The idea for the program came about from the operation tempo of the 101st Airborne Division since 2001. With units focusing on deployments, facility maintenance was starting to fall behind. DPW decided to find away to encourage units to help maintain the facilities.
"This is genius," said Brig. Gen. Stephen Townsend, deputy commanding general (rear). "We're incentivizing our units to do what we need them to do, helping DPW maintain our facilities. It comes down to making sure things are fixed quickly so our Soldiers don't suffer."
A total of $150,000 is available in awards to those units who take part in the program. The money is part of the existing budget and each award will be earmarked for a project of the unit's choice.
"What we're doing is putting pavilions behind all the battalion areas so when we have inclement weather the Soldiers still have an area to train," said Engelhardt. For DPW and the units, it helps to create a team effort that is needed by both sides to maintain the areas the Soldiers use.
"We can't do it by ourselves; not without DPW," said Engelhardt. "All the way from Joseph Thomas to the workers of DPW; we can't do it by ourselves. We need them also."
Joseph Thomas, DPW operations specialist, hopes more units take part and for the program to continue to grow.
"Progressively the competition is getting a little more stiff," said Thomas. "We look for it to be a better competition this upcoming year with everyone back from deployment."
Units are judged on a 300-point scale using the Command Inspection Program checklist. This year's competition resulted in just a five point difference from first to fourth place in the large unit category.
The 159th Combat Aviation Battalion was awarded $25,000 for second place, 5th Special Forces Group $10,000 for third place and 101st Sustainment Brigade $3,000 for fourth place. The 326th Engineer Battalion was awarded $30,000 for first place in the small unit category.
"There is money to be had and we want everyone to compete," said Thomas.