Pacific’s senior engineers max joint region effort

| October 17, 2014 | 0 Comments
The Pacific  is the largest operating theater in the world, and its engineers are constantly engaged in missions that require equipment and personnel to be at the right place at the right time.

The Pacific is the largest operating theater in the world, and its engineers are constantly engaged in missions that require equipment and personnel to be at the right place at the right time.

Story and photos by Capt. Laura Beth Beebe
130th Engineer Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The Pacific’s senior Army engineers joined their sister service counterparts for the Hawaii Engineer Training Workshop, here, Oct. 7-8, to share experiences, network and discuss how to strengthen the joint engineer mission across the region.

The Pacific is the largest operating theater in the world, and its engineers are constantly engaged in missions that require equipment and personnel to be at the right place at the right time.

The workshop provided a venue for engineers from all services, government and industry to brainstorm how best to break up some tasks and collaborate on how to maximize the engineer mission across the theater.

The Society of American Military Engineers leads the event, which included expert boards and training sessions on contingency engineering and installation management.

Col. Blace Albert, commander, 130th Engineer Brigade, was the senior Army engineer at the workshop. He spoke about the capabilities of Army engineers and how they partner with the other services.

Albert compared the role his brigade is able to assume in the Pacific to its role as the Theater Engineer Brigade lead in Afghanistan, last year.

Albert joined Navy Capt. Dean Tufts, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Hawaii, and Air Force Col. Mickey Addison, deputy director and command engineer, Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Pacific Air Forces A7, where they each shared their experiences and thoughts on the joint-nature of engineer operations.

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“The ability to work together and use each other’s systems is vital for engineers working in the Pacific,” Albert said.

The 130th Eng. Bde. has worked in joint environments in different capacities since 2010, when it undertook missions such as Cobra Gold, Balikatan and Civic Action Team (CAT) Palau. The leaders used CAT Palau as an example of their interoperability, and Addison explained how it has rotated from each service.

The program began 44 years ago and fulfills U.S. Pacific Command’s engagement strategy by directing and supporting the civic action program in community construction, apprentices training, medical assistance and community relations.

“The Air Force picked it up from the Army, passed it to the Navy a few months ago, and will pick it back up in about 10 months,” Addison said.

The 130th Eng. Bde. will then take CAT Palau for the Army in February.

Tufts also shared example of an Army engineer element conducting a historically Navy mission, explaining how the 84th Eng. Bn., a 130th Eng. Bde. subordinate unit, deployed to Guam in 2013 and assumed the lead as a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief quick reaction force, typically held by the Navy.

The workshop explored these same topics at different command levels.

Capt. Matt Burgoon, commander 561st Eng. Company, joined four junior officers and senior noncommissioned officers who recently returned from missions throughout the Pacific, for a board discussion on what contingency operations are like from a small unit “boots on ground” perspective.

Society of American Military Engineers

SAME, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a professional military engineering association, that unites architecture, engineering, construction, facility management and environmental entities and individuals in the public and private sectors to prepare for and overcome natural and manmade disasters, and to improve security at home and abroad.

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