‘Construction Ninjas’ end 2013 by improving ranges, mitigating brush fires

| January 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from 2nd Plt., 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC,  cut and fill the range as the 3rd Plt. “Construction Ninjas,” 523rd Eng. Co., haul in dirt.

Soldiers from 2nd Plt., 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, cut and fill the range as the 3rd Plt. “Construction Ninjas,” 523rd Eng. Co., haul in dirt.

Story and photo by 1st Lt. Lucian Myers
523rd Engineer Company, 84th Eng. Battalion
130th Eng. Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Troops from the 523rd Engineer Company, 84th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Commmand, answered the call from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and the Range Control Department in December, completing a weeklong berm-improvement mission at the range, here, where recurring brush fires have started.

The mission’s goal was to mitigate future fires, like the one caused by high temperatures that broke out Oct. 15, 2013. It was put out five days later, then resumed two days after that, and was ultimately extinguished Oct. 28. That fire required six helicopters, an unmanned aerial vehicle and ground personnel from multiple organizations to monitor and end the fire.

Schofield units use the range for controlled detonations to dispose of unexploded ordnance or dud rounds that are found on and around other ranges. The original berm was approximately 7-feet tall and 15-feet wide at the base, and the 523rd’s goal was to increase it to 20-feet tall and 20-feet wide at the base.

The company conducted 24-hour operations Dec. 9-13 to meet the range control’s timeline, ultimately exceeding its goal by building the berm to 22-feet tall and 35-feet wide at the base.

“We were able to start where the day shift left off and were able to work with fewer distractions,” said Spc. Anthony Velazquez, a night crew member. “The day shift would set up the lights, and we continued building through the night.”

The company maximized personnel with two platoons hauling dirt to the project site, while a third ran the construction of the berm.

Sgt. 1st Class Chad Johnson, senior enlisted leader for 3rd Platoon’s “Construction Ninjas,” said, “We had to manage all the Soldiers who were attached to us from other platoons, mission-capable vehicles and the flow of dump trucks to the project site. Very quickly, we pulled together as a team.”

The troops relocated more than 5,800 cubic yards of dirt during the mission, mitigating the chance of brush fires in the vicinity, while increasing safety and the range’s ability to conduct critical training.

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Category: News, Sustainability

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