604th FEST-A Completes Assessment in Syria

By James MasonNovember 13, 2021

Members of the 604th Forward Engineer Support Team – Advance (FEST-A) recently traveled to an outpost in Syria to provide technical engineer expertise in support of troop barracks and work site deficiencies.

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While working on this project in Syria, Cpt. Dallas Dissmore and Cpt. Gabriel Maupin of the 604th conducted critical infrastructure surveys, structural assessments, architectural design recommendations, and captured measurements of the facilities.

A FEST-A is a small team of Engineer Soldiers who all bring a technical skill to the table and provides technical engineer support to the 111th Theater Engineer Brigade.

“We have representatives from almost every architectural and engineering discipline. Thus, we can produce designs to fulfill a wide variety of construction needs throughout the Central Command Theater,” said Dissmore.

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“Additionally, because we are also trained as Soldiers, we are able to travel to dangerous areas to provide necessary design services, and tailor our designs to enhance mission accomplishment for each of our clients.”

Although a FEST-A is a small team, the impact they have is nothing short of mighty. As the U.S. military’s posture and presence in the Middle East continues to shift and evolve, ensuring that operating bases and outposts are functional and adequate for troop occupancy is a continuous priority for Engineer forces working in the region.

The critical work that was completed by the Engineers on ground in Syria is just the beginning of the project though.

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“The focus at this specific location in Syria, moving forward, is to improve the life safety characteristics of current buildings and propose new building solutions for more sustainable operations,” said Maupin. “This assessment demonstrated how critical our job as engineers is to the safety and wellbeing of our fellow troops.”

To name a few, some of the improvements under consideration for the outpost include a renovated kitchen and dining facility, updated barracks and living areas, and exterior defense improvements for an overall safer deployed environment.

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Although the trip to Syria was only made by two Soldiers of the FEST-A, in order to achieve mission success for this project, a lot more hands will be involved. Maupin explained that every technical engineer has their expertise and if one area of work can’t be completed it’s like trying to finish a puzzle with a missing piece.

“It is important to utilize a team of engineers with varying expertise in order to get a more comprehensive picture of the site. Each engineer typically sees different aspects of a site according to their particular area of expertise,” said Maupin. “All of the aspects of a site assessment are essential to understanding existing conditions so that effective solutions can be proposed.”

When effective solutions are proposed and implemented, it reminds the members of the 604th how rewarding their job is and the impact they have on Soldiers around the globe.

“It is very gratifying to know that our eight-person team has such an outsized impact on mission effectiveness throughout CENTCOM,” said Dissmore. “I think each of our team members is happy to know that their work serves such a worthy cause as maintaining safety and security for people in this part of the world.”