2nd Lt. Kevin Dailey
523rd Engineer Company, 84th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
KAHUKU TRAINING AREA — All training areas need to be maintained and improved to allow Soldiers to properly train and prepare for their respective missions.
The 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, does its part by providing construction support across the island to keep training areas in good condition.
Recently, members of 3rd Platoon, 523rd Eng. Company, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., finished a 56-day construction project that included the excavation of a 10-foot and a 30-foot cliff face to finish the road surface of the Bravo Connector Trail, here, on the North Shore.
Kahuku Training Area is one of the larger training areas the Army and other military services use on island. The Bravo Connector Trail will increase maneuverability for units using KTA and give them flexibility to conduct realistic training for future missions.
“It is nice to be in charge of a project to improve training areas where many other military branches can benefit from it and avoid traveling off island for training,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Atencio, 3rd Platoon. 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
As a construction-effects battalion, the 84th Eng. Bn. delivers a wide range of capabilities, from undertaking various construction projects to supporting humanitarian assistance or combat operations overseas.
Since returning from a deployment to Iraq in November 2009, 84th Eng. Bn. Soldiers have been working on construction projects here in the Pacific. The 84th Eng. Bn. heard about the needs at KTA and jumped at the opportunity.
The unit had already completed one road mission at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island, which helped it prepare for the work on the Bravo Connector Trail. The PTA mission included removing trees from more than two acres of land and excavating two cliff faces into a slope — the first mission of its type for the 130th Eng. Bde., here in the Pacific.
Sgt. Joshua Fulton, equipment operator, 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., said the PTA mission was a great experience to teach new Soldiers the necessary skills and for him to learn how to run a project site.
Soldiers were eager to show their skills and potential.
“I liked being able to use my chainsaw skills I learned on the civilian side to help the 523rd Eng. Co. accomplish its mission,” said Spc. Joshua McGirr, heavy equipment operator, 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
The battalion will continue its construction projects both on and off island in the future. The 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., is planning to construct the Heewaii Mauka Trail for the Keamuku Maneuver Area that allows battalion-sized units to do maneuver training.