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Posts made in: 'Engineers' (6) Currently Viewing: 1 - 6 of 6

March 10, 2010 at 4:25pm

864th casing colors

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 864th Engineer Battalion will case

its battalion colors in preparation for an upcoming deployment to

Afghanistan, in a ceremony to be conducted on Thursday, March 11 at 11

a.m. on Watkins Field on JBLM-Lewis Main.

Approximately 600 personnel will deploy with the battalion. Upon arrival

in Afghanistan, the battalion will support Regional Command South by

assuming command and control responsibility for a military engineering

task force headquartered in Kandahar, conducting a variety of missions

throughout the Regional Command South area of responsibility.

The battalion will provide force protection and life support

construction in support of maneuver units that are distributed

throughout Kandahar province, and conduct construction operations that

will maintain lines of communication between forward operating bases and

supporting combat outposts, to include maintaining and improving

existing roads and constructing airfields as required by mission


Filed under: Engineers,

September 2, 2009 at 4:59pm

555th Engineers arrive home tomorrow


The Fort Lewis PAO sent out this reminder:

Fort Lewis, Wash. - About 150 Soldiers of the 555th Engineer Brigade headquarters will return home to Fort Lewis from a 12-month deployment to Iraq Thursday, September 3. The Soldiers will be reunited with families and friends at a "Welcome Home" ceremony scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Wilson Gym on North Fort Lewis.

The 555th Engineer Brigade headquarters deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2008, where it was headquartered at Joint Base Balad, supporting Multi-National Corps Iraq. The brigade's mission has been to support combat operations, construction, and geospatial operations in partnership with Provincial Reconstruction Teams and Iraqi Army engineers. Other missions included training Iraqi Army engineers, base closure support, munitions clearance, and route clearance patrols.

This concludes the brigade headquarters' third deployment to Iraq.

The unit first deployed in April 2003 through March 2004, and established its Headquarters at Forward Operating Base Speicher, in Tikrit, Iraq. There, the "Triple Nickel" served as the headquarters of the Task Force Able, which was comprised of more than 3,000 engineers from the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Their mission was to assure mobility, force protection, and essential life support to all brigades in their task force area of operation.

The brigade's second deployment was to North Central Iraq October 2005 through October 2006. There, the unit provided mobility, troop construction, training to Iraqi Army engineers, base support, and munitions clearance to their task force throughout all five provinces of Northern Iraq.

Filed under: Engineers, Fort Lewis, Iraq,

August 6, 2009 at 3:53pm

Fort Lewis: Army green


Storm-water Steve Crandall stood in stifling heat at the north end of a 1,500 foot long pond at the Sequalitchew Training Area & Center for Environmental Education and Earthworks.

"This is very impressive; Fort Lewis goes to great lengths in its commitment to sustainability," said a foreman with Aerotek Engineering and Environmental.

The company - along with the Corps of Engineers - is working to create a unique water filtration system consisting of two ponds at Earthworks.

In the distance, large dump trucks brought in recycled materials to line the bottom of the pond.  Bulldozers moved material into place.

Think of the work as recycling used to sustain Fort Lewis.

Environmental sustainability is more than a political and environmental buzzword; it is an important part of the Army's strategic planning for present and future missions. The end game for Fort Lewis and its efforts toward sustainability is to facilitate economical operations (less waste), improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families (clean parks and training areas), and improve the globe's environmental condition (preserve natural resources).

Part of the post's efforts rests with the use of recycled materials as a filter in the construction of the ponds.

"The specific purpose of this work is to take two-thirds of the storm water off North Fort Lewis and consolidate it into a management system," explained Ron Norton, solid waste and recycling program manager.

The work on the project began last spring and will be completed by summer's end.

Norton pointed out that the work provides an efficient way to manage storm water, preserve real estate and manage recycled products.

The two-pond operation is environmentally based simplicity at its best.

As storm water runs off North Fort, it is collected. Contaminants - particularly motor oil - are separated before the water flows into a large pond. Once in the larger, clay lined pond, sediments will settle out.  During the summer the pond should be five to six feet deep; during the rainy winter season, it will be 10 to 12 feet deep.

Once the settling out is completed, the water will be allowed to flow into a smaller, second pond. Next the water will infiltrate through a thinner clay liner and into the ground water.

"This is called 'polishing' the water," explained Norton. 

Once part of the ground water, the "polished" water will sustain a wetland.

"We expect to attract wildlife, especially migrating waterfowl," added Norton.

On the sides of both ponds, composed material will allow for the growth of native plants to give the area a natural look.

"This project showcases what we can do; it is something to feel good about when it comes to sustainability," said Norton.

The Army looks good in green.

July 22, 2009 at 12:03pm

Earn the rank


Staff Sgt. Robert Smith is a bit on the quiet side.  One must ask a number of questions before he will answer just one question.

"It's just the way I am," he commented.  

The squad leader of 3rd Platoon, 571st Sapper Company, 14th Combat Engineer Battalion, Smith has served in the Army for the past four-and-half years.

He is serving his second deployment to Iraq.

"I joined because I was interested in the college money," said the native of Tennessee, as he sat in an office at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.  "I also like what I do, and I am good at it."

The first one in his immediate family to serve in the military, he is not sure if he will make the Army are career.

"Time will tell."

Smith's role as a squad leader is to lead his soldier during the numerous route clearance patrols they perform in order to ensure the safe movement of supplies throughout Iraq.

In accomplishing his missions, he also holds himself to high standards.

"A good non commissioned officer (NCO) has to know his job and how to teach it to his soldiers, and then be able to lead on the battlefield," said Smith as he began to relax.

"You can know everything, but you're useless if you can't lead."

And as far as Smith is concerned, there is no place in the Army for NCOs who cannot or will not lead.

"The challenging part of my job is working with poor NCOs," he commented.

For those who are thinking of joining the Army, he has some words of wisdom.

"Research what you want to do before you join," advised Smith.  "Don't let the recruiter be your deciding factor."

As for his fellow NCOs, Smith is very clear in his message to them.

"Don't let the rank be given to you.  Make sure that you deserve it and have earned it," he said as he got up and headed back out to prepare for another mission.

July 6, 2009 at 2:59pm

Building the force


CORP On the east wall of George Henry's office is a map of Fort Lewis.  Sprinkled across the map are many different colored spots. Each dot represents a beginning, fully involved or ending construction project.

There are a lot of dots on that map.

"What we're seeing here at Fort Lewis is unprecedented growth since World War II," said Henry, the post's resident engineer, as he drove past several construction sites.

Costs for the building are $250 million for fiscal year 2009 and $300 million for fiscal year 2010. Currently, there are over 20 construction projects underway with one to nine facilities being built per site.

"The Corps of Engineers is fully engaged in the Army's sustainment project," Henry said.

The work involves the building of everything from barracks and headquarters buildings to child development centers and motor pools.

The reason for the present construction rests on three interconnected factors - the Base Realignment and Closure Commission's, or BRAC, recommendations; the Grow the Army initiative; and the Transformation of the force.

Army Transformation describes the future concept of the force's plan for modernization. Put differently, transformation is the integration of new concepts, organizations and technology within the armed forces. In line with this thinking, the Army is working to grow its force by 75,000 soldiers.  More soldiers require more in terms of facilities. A major component of this concept involves the Army's transformation from a division-centric force toward a modular, brigade-centric force that is expeditionary in nature. The stationing of the three Stryker brigades - and all that entails in terms of personnel and training - is indicative of this.

And last, the BRAC gives the Army the authority to more efficiently and effectively dispose of excess facilities and installations while realigning and reconfiguring the remaining infrastructure to increase operational capacity and fighting capability.

"We've been busy," said Sid Jones, a project manager, as he observed the placing of a wooden truss for the roof on one of the new barracks being built.

He went on to explain that the barracks - the glass in the windows to how they are put together - are designed in such a matter that a terrorist attack cannot bring them down.

"These new barracks will serve our soldiers well for quite a while," added Jones.

And each colorful dot on Henry's wall map amplifies the commitment the Corps of Engineers has to the future soldiers at Fort Lewis.

Photo: J.M. Simpson

July 2, 2009 at 6:58pm

14th Engineer Battalion in the house


News release out of the Fort Lewis PAO:

Fort Lewis, Wash. - About 350 Soldiers of the 14th Engineer Battalion will return home to Fort Lewis from a 15-month deployment to Iraq Saturday, July 4. The Soldiers will be reunited with families and friends at a Welcome Home ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Wilson Gym on North Fort Lewis.

The 14th Engineer Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in mid-April 2008 and its engineer companies accomplished many successful missions during the battalion's tour of service in Iraq.

HHC, FSC, and 570th Engr. Co. - Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) and the Forward Support Company (FSC) supplied security and logistical support while the 570th Engineer Company conducted route clearance patrols in northern and central Iraq. The 570th also completed the first iteration of the Iraqi Army Route Clearance Academy, where they trained 15 Iraqi Army Engineers over a 16-day course.

571st Engr. Co. - The 571st Engineer Company conducted route clearance patrols in northern Iraq. They also completed the construction of a Joint Security Station. The 571st also became involved in several humanitarian assistance missions designed to increase the Soldiers interactions with the local populace and foster improved relations with surrounding communities.

610th ESC - The 610th Engineer Support Company (ESC) completed the construction of numerous projects that included convoy staging lanes, motor pools, and a bulk fuel installation. The 610th ESC also assisted in the construction of a tactical communications facility, as well as force protection and drainage repairs.

About 170 other members of the 14th Engineer Battalion will arrive home on Monday, July 6.

Filed under: Engineers, Fort Lewis, Iraq,

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