Engineers, DPW team up to restore landmark
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Volunteers apply primer on Ralston Field Engineer Castle at Watts Field, Oct. 20, 2017. Through the efforts of personnel and family members from 523rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sus... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - The Engineer Castle on Ralston Field, here, received a facelift recently thanks to a partnership between the 523rd Engineer Company, 84th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Directorate of Public Works.

About 25 Soldiers and family members from the 523rd Eng. Co. pressure-washed, primed and repainted the castle during their off-duty and weekend hours over an approximately two-month period. They also completed some landscaping in the surrounding area. DPW provided the supplies, including pressure washers, primer, paint and ladders, as well as some guidance on how to complete the work successfully.

"It was a point of pride," said Sgt. 1st Class Shayne Payne. "We didn't want it to (remain in a state of disrepair). Even though it wasn't our unit that originally built the castle, it was something built by engineers, and restoring it brings a sense of pride to all engineers."

Capt. Thomas Weber agreed, adding that the renovations also serve to lift the morale of Soldiers and family members stationed at Schofield Barracks.

"The 130th Eng. Bde. uses the castle as a destination point to run to during Monday Ability Group Runs," he said. "Hopefully, it will give the Soldiers some pride seeing the only castle on Schofield Barracks looks professional. Also, the community living on Schofield Barracks (will) not have to look at an eyesore."

Kevin Rost, facilities manager and construction estimator for DPW's Operation and Maintenance Division, praised their work.

"I think they did an exceptional job in doing this, in addition to the training rotation they had going on," he said. "For them to donate their time to this is what made it happen. We (at DPW) would never have been able to get to this project with our current staffing levels."

He added, "I really like working with Soldiers because I feel like they get a lot out of pride from sustaining something that their predecessors built, and that comes through in the work."

This venture is not the first time the 523rd Eng. Co. has teamed up with DPW on an improvement project. They recently poured a sidewalk along Beaver Road to connect two residential neighborhoods on Schofield Barracks. In addition to giving back to the community, they earned valuable military occupation specialty training through that project.

History of the Engineer Castle

According to a sign at the site of the castle on Ralston Field, it was constructed by elements of the 3rd Eng. Combat Regiment between 1938-1941, and B Company of the 65th Eng. Bn. repainted and restored it in 2001.

The castle overlooks a softball diamond and has concrete benches that serve as seating during games. The rest of the field is used by Soldiers and family members for exercise and recreation.

The castle is the logo of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The USACE castle logo is typically a white three-towered castle set on a red background, and it was formally adopted by the Army as insignia in the early 1900s.

'Self-help' projects

The castle improvement project is what is known as a command "self-help" project, said Rost, who served as the liaison between the engineers and DPW. Any unit interested in taking on a large-scale improvement project may contact a DPW facilities manager who will then help the unit through the process, which includes filling out the proper paperwork, getting the correct supplies and ensuring that the work is done correctly and in compliance with regulations. Rost said these steps are necessary when dealing with projects on government property.

DPW also runs a Self-Help Store on Schofield Barracks that issues paint, light bulbs, glue, small tools and other supplies that can be used for small, individual projects.

DPW Facility Managers

Contact your area's DPW facility manager before undertaking work on USAG-HI property:

•USAG-HI South (Fort Shafter, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Tripler Medical Center, Fort DeRussy)

Gary Childress, 438-1102

•USAG-HI North (Wheeler Army Airfield, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Keith Klonower, 656-8241

•USAG-HI North (Schofield Barracks, Helemano Military Reservation, Kahuku Training Area, Makua Training Area)

Kevin Rost, 656-8161

DPW Self-Help Store

Bldg. 2600 (near Foote Gate entrance)

Schofield Barracks


This store issues paint, light bulbs and other supplies to Soldiers looking to make small, individual repairs or improvements. For larger projects that entail more personnel and time, unit leaders should contact their DPW facility manager for assistance.