Sukhothai Province, Thailand - 1st SGT Thomas Raffipy (left), Company First Sergeant, 871st Engineer Company, 9th Mission Support Command, US Army Reserve, leads the company in a chorus of Hawaii Aloha and Aloha Oi at the dedication ceremony of the new elementary school they helped build at Baan Wanghad, Sukhothai Province, central Thailand, February 9, 2009.

"We built this school from the ground up," said Raffipy. "There isn't a phone line but our counterparts from the Royal Thai Air Force put in the power line drops to the building from the existing grid," he said.

"They are a great bunch of guys and we had terrific time working with them," Raffipy said.

The construction project is a partnership with the 871st Engineer Company, headquartered at Hilo, Hawaii, Detachment 1, Maui, Hawaii, 9th MSC, US Army Reserve, and the Directorate of Civil Engineering, Royal Thai Air Force. This project and other civil assistance projects, is part of Cobra Gold 2009, the 28th annual exercises involving the cooperative engagement of US, Thai, Japan, Indonesia and Singaporean forces to strengthen the defenses of Thailand.