84th Eng.’s electricians, carpenters assist JSOTF-P

| May 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Forrest Bushey (foreground), carpenter, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, installs a new layer of sheet metal during the battalion's recent deployment to the Philippines to provide necessary engineer capabilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. The new roof stopped numerous leaks that previously occurred in the structure. (Courtesy photo)

Sgt. Forrest Bushey (foreground), carpenter, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, installs a new layer of sheet metal during the battalion’s recent deployment to the Philippines to provide necessary engineer capabilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. The new roof stopped numerous leaks that previously occurred in the structure. (Courtesy photo)

1st Lt. John Spies
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

A select group of Soldiers from the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, recently deployed to the Philippines from their current deployment in Guam to provide necessary engineer capabilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines.

The engineers augmented the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), and were tasked with repairing electrical capabilities, as well as providing general carpentry improvements to the numerous camps used by American forces throughout the joint operations area.

They worked in the southern Philippines alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to advise and assist with their counterterrorism efforts.

Upon arrival, the electricians first conducted an assessment of five different camps. They found a multitude of potential electrical hazards.

“Common electrical wiring convention was not used when power was first installed in the camps,” explained Spc. James Jusi, electrician, 523rd Eng. Company, 84th Eng. Bn. “Most all electrical outlets required proper grounding to reduce the risk of electrical shock.”

After all the electrical hazards were identified at each camp, the electricians returned with materials to make needed repairs. The electricians diligently corrected faulty connections, repaired damaged panel boxes and enclosed exposed wires appropriately in conduit.

Working in buddy teams, they completed the assessments and all of the repairs during two months. All of the camps’ previous electrical hazards were all corrected upon completion of the work.

Spc. Lars Christensen, equipment operator, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, checks a newly installed junction box during the battalion's recent deployment to the Philippines to provide necessary engineer capabilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines. The previous wiring scheme was not well protected and posed many electrical hazards. (Courtesy photo)

Spc. Lars Christensen, equipment operator, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, checks a newly installed junction box during the battalion’s recent deployment to the Philippines to provide necessary engineer capabilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines. The previous wiring scheme was not well protected and posed many electrical hazards. (Courtesy photo)

Carpenters also made necessary repairs. One camp in particular required major renovations, to include replacing a structure’s tin roof panels.

“Replacing the roof was one of the most challenging projects we completed,” said Sgt. Forrest Bushey, carpenter, 523rd Eng. Co. “The newly installed roof will be better suited to handle the heavy rainfall this area receives.”

Other carpentry repairs greatly improved the living conditions for Soldiers using the camps. Desks, bed frames, cabinets and tables were all constructed to suit operational needs.

Furthermore, the engineers used excess scrap material and creatively fabricated additional gym equipment.

“We pretty much used every inch of building material for construction,” said Spc. Kyle Zulkoski, carpenter, 523rd Eng. Co., “and it was nice to see that everything we built was utilized almost immediately.”

During their last three weeks in the Philippines, the electricians and carpenters worked together to complete the interior renovation of office space to be used by JSOTF-P staff.

The electricians performed numerous tasks outside of their primary specialty while conducting renovations. Their flexibility and adept craftsmanship ensured the project was successful and professional.

Following successful completion of the mission, the Soldiers rejoined the 84th Eng. Bn., currently at Camp Covington, Guam. They will integrate back into their respective platoons within the 523rd Eng. Co. and continue normal operations.

The 84th Eng. Bn. has been forward deployed to Guam since the start of the calendar year and recently reached the halfway mark of its deployment. The battalion is expected to return to Schofield Barracks around the end of the current fiscal year.

(Editor’s note: Spies is an engineer and was officer in charge while deployed to the Philippines. He is the battalion plans officer at 84th Engineers.)

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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