Engineers build concrete pads, preserve aviation history

| May 10, 2013 | 1 Comment
Soldiers from the 26th Concrete Det., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, use an M5 mobile mixer to pour concrete into the first of two pads built to support museum aircraft pieces for the joint 25th CAB and Tropic Lightning Museum memorial.

Soldiers from the 26th Concrete Det., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, use an M5 mobile mixer to pour concrete into the first of two pads built to support museum aircraft pieces for the joint 25th CAB and Tropic Lightning Museum memorial.

Story and photo by
2nd Lt. Angela Smith
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

Two concrete pads were recently constructed on Wheeler Army Airfield by the 26th Concrete Detatchment, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, to hold museum aircraft pieces for the joint 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and the Tropic Lightning Museum Memorial.

Prior to construction, the helicopters were sitting on an improvised arrangement of garden cement blocks.

“The newly constructed concrete pads will help to preserve the proud legacy and accomplishments of our 25th aviation Soldiers from the past,” said Maj. Brian Angel, executive officer, 25th CAB, highlighting the importance of the pads. “The legacy of the Cobra and the Huey set the stage for the aviation Soldiers of today, and it is fitting to have the displays improved.

“With the addition of the new concrete pads,” Angel continued, “the 25th CAB, our community and guests who visit Wheeler Army Airfield into the future will be able to better appreciate the historical foundations of Army aviation.”

For this project, the detachment worked with Soldiers from the 643rd Vertical Construction Company, 142nd Survey and Design Det., of the 84th Eng. Bn., and the 130th Eng. Bde.

“We are thrilled that, with the combined help of Soldiers from the 130th Eng. Bde., the CAB, 25th ID, and the 25th ID staff, the installation of concrete pads under the aircraft at the aviation memorial has become a reality,” said Kathleen Ramsden, curator, Tropic Lightning Museum. We are so thankful to everyone involved in this project for making it happen.”

The 26th Concrete Det. is one of only seven like units in the Army, and the sole military unit of its specialty in Hawaii. It uses an M5 concrete mobile mixer (the detachment has three M5s) for all of its concrete production operations.

This piece of equipment is ideal, because there are no time constraints like a typical in-transit concrete mixer might have: Load all of the materials separately into the mobile and then transport them to the construction site, where it produces concrete on demand.

The M5 mixer is, more or less, a roaming concrete plant. Waiting hours or days to pour is not an issue because the materials only mix together right as the concrete comes out of the mobile.

Not all construction companies have this piece of equipment, because it takes highly skilled operators like those in the 26th Concrete Det. who understand how their mixes affect the compressive strength of the concrete. They also understand how to operate the different material gates and systems on the mobile mixer.

The operators possess skill sets unique to other concrete detachments, which include the ability to operate the palletized load system vehicles that transport their mobile concrete modules, concrete finish work, formwork and other construction skill sets.

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  1. Grandma Waite says:

    Very impressive job of engineering!!!!

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