Tooele Army Depot is already busy getting ready for this year’s wildfire season, and they are getting a little help from the Utah National Guard.
The 116th Engineer Company from Utah County spent part of their yearly annual-training drill cutting firebreak lines for the Depot.
“Firebreaks are very important here on the Depot. They help us [Depot Facilities Support Division] and the fire department contain fires. We also use these firebreaks for roads, whether it be for traveling them to fix fence or en route to a fire,” Gus Castagno, supervisor of Tooele Army Depot’s Facilities Support Division said.
While the Depot gets new firebreaks, the Soldiers of the 116th get invaluable experience.
“It gives the young Soldier, fresh out of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and those who have had little stick time (time operating the equipment), the ability and time to use the equipment, and if something goes wrong, time to fix it. It gives our new NCOs (non-commissioned officers) the ability to manage a project and Soldiers,” said Cuyler Stoker, staff sergeant with the 116th.
Cutting the firebreaks was just one of the missions the 116th accomplished, while staying at the Depot. They also helped a fellow guard unit, the 214th Forward Support Company. The engineers expanded the 214th motor pool parking area, sloping the lot, allowing rain water to flow off and creating a retention pond to store the runoff.
The Soldiers also served a visible reminder for Depot employees of why they come to work every day—to serve the Warfighter.
“It has been very fun for myself and some the other guys here in the shop that have got to meet and rub shoulders with the troops. The 116th is a great bunch of guys who like to have fun while working hard. Hopefully, we can do this again with this group; and if so, I already look forward to when that happens,” said Castagno.