2nd Lt. Lauren Looper
65th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Middle school students operated a robotic arm, a military radio and a mine detector; tried on a dive helmet; watched how maps are created; and sat in the cab of a backhoe loader.
Thirty students from Mililani Middle School experienced all of these activities during a field trip to the 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, here, April 25.
The field trip took place on Leaders Field as part of the battalion’s school partnership with Mililani Middle School.
Each of the battalion’s companies ran a station that showcased its capabilities.
The 34th Eng. Company operated an improvised explosive devise using the arm on a surrogate buffalo. Students then used the arm to pick up a tire being used as a simulated IED.
Using a Digital Topographic Support System-Light, the 70th Eng. Co. created maps of Hawaii for each student.
Students also learned about the 82nd Eng. Support Co.’s construction capabilities, to include a heavy loader and backhoe loader.
At the 7th Dive Detachment’s tent, students watched a video with footage showing unit dive operations. After the video, students tried on a large yellow dive helmet.
The Forward Support Co. demonstrated how to communicate with military radios.
At the last station, operated by Headquarters and Headquarters Co., students operated hand-held mine detectors.
The field trip concluded with students having lunch with some of the Soldiers under camouflage nets.
“This is a great opportunity to see how the material the students learn in the classroom applies in real life,” said Kory Aoki, chaperone and student activities coordinator at Mililani Middle School.
“Chatter about what goes on at the 65th Eng. Bn. is still ongoing,” said Errol Hahn, vice principal, Mililani Middle School. “Students and teachers were very impressed with the equipment, Soldiers and displays.”