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MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — A small group of Soldiers made improvements to a 831-foot road at the Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility, here, recently.
The Soldiers from 523rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, began working on the road Oct. 17, 2011, and completely the project recently.
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians use the road.
“We’re more than happy to help,” said Sgt. 1st Class Matt Lashley, platoon sergeant, 523rd Eng. Co. “It’s been a pleasure working with the Marines. They’ve treated us really well. (It’s a) good collaboration between the services.”
Master Sgt. John Martinez, the range chief for the K-Bay Range, said the road is now “100 times better” than it was before.
Before the unit arrived, Martinez said the road was not drivable and was in serious need of repair.
“They’re phenomenal,” Martinez said of the Soldiers. “I appreciate everything they do.”
He described the project as a “win-win situation.” By utilizing the Soldiers instead of hiring a contractor, the Soldiers got hands-on training and the Marines got their road.
“I think it builds a good rapport with each other in a garrison environment,” said Sgt. Reynoldo Espinoza, squad leader, 523rd Eng. Co. “For these (Soldiers), it’s a good learning experience.”
Espinoza said this project was more than half of the Soldiers’ first project.
Pfc. Deykes Lopez, heavy equipment operator, 523rd Eng. Co., said he was able to learn a great deal, in addition to getting more “stick time,” on the machinery.
Martinez has future projects that he plans to request the 523rd Eng. Co. to do, including the demolition range and some construction at the Marine Corps Training Area at Bellows Air Force Station.