SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The 368th Engineer Battalion is well on their way to moving Soldiers living on Camp Redleg out of tents and into modular housing, April 25, to improve quality of life through a series of ongoing renovations.
Soldiers had been living in tents until they came along and developed their "city".
Sgt. 1st Class Neil Bresett, of the 368th Engineer Battalion and project manager for the ongoing renovations and upgrades to Camp Redleg, explained the lengthy process involved in planning something he described as building a small city from scratch. In addition to new buildings, the engineers he oversees must build water, sewage, and electrical distribution infrastructures.
Maj. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, 29th Infantry Division commander, traveled to Redleg, to get a first-hand update on the project's progress. Improving the quality of life for Soldiers in the Task Force Spartan Area of Operations, particularly at Camp Redleg, is one of Ortner's priorities as the division's commander.
"When our Soldiers have the opportunity to have a better quality of life, we should do what we can to make that happen," Ortner said.
One of the many hurdles Bressett has faced is the language barrier with his Italian-speaking contractors.
"There were lots of hours reading the directions and deciphering Italian to English," he said.
The heart of any city is its people, and to that degree, Redleg is no different. The challenge of communicating in another language is in addition to any number of standard challenges presented by a construction project in a normal environment.
Bresset and his team have done far more than a simple exercise in carpentry. They have built a city in a challenging environment while bridging gaps of language and culture. A bent nail, or a delayed supply shipment are normal construction hurdles.
As a soldier in the Army Reserve, Bresset is able to utilize his civilian-acquired skills as the owner of a general contracting company to get the job done. He is also energized by the fact that his contributions will outlast his deployment.
Bresset and his Soldiers built this "city" to last. "This is for everyone on Camp Redleg and future units," Bresett said.