News: 87th CES: What’s up dog … park?
Story by Airman 1st Class Sean Crowe
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Members of the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron joined Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst leaders to commemorate the dog park project completion June 21, 2013, by Mitchell Road and Falcon Courts East here.
Col. John Wood, JB MDL commander; Christy Fortino, United Communities representative; and Primary Construction Team members gathered at the entrance of the dog park to speak and unveil a dedication plaque.
The sequence of events deviated from a traditional dedication event with organizers seeking a less formal and more condensed ceremony lasting approximately 30 minutes. Wood spoke to the construction team members about what a great service they did for the community and thanked them for their efforts in building the park.
The 87th CES members began construction of the new dog park at the beginning of November.
“The ceremony formally recognized the completion of the park,” said 1st Lt. Kenneth Hynes, 87th CES operations support chief. “It was also an opportunity to unveil our ‘modest boulder,’ which is the small rock with a dedication plaque mounted on it to recognize the construction team.”
The construction project served two purposes, both for community members and service members.
The first purpose is to prepare civil engineers for deployment. The structures they built and procedures they followed mimic downrange tasks including: material procurement, blueprint/plans development, area surveillance, fence installation, concrete and asphalt installation, pavilion design and construction and utility connection.
“The junior airmen had a great learning experience building the park,” said Tech. Sgt. Ronald Boulanger, 87th CES operations support foreman. “They don’t get to work on a project of this breadth on a regular basis.”
The project facilitated teamwork development among constructors and leadership skill development for supervisors.
“The troops don’t typically get the experience here to work on a large multi-craft work order like this,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Benivegna, 87th CES commander. “It’s a great opportunity to sharpen the Airmen’s skills while simultaneously increasing the quality of life for the community.”
The second purpose of the dog park construction is to provide an outlet for community members to bring their dogs to socialize, therefore raising the quality of life for JB MDL residents.
The park has obstacles for the dogs to run through and jump over in addition to water fountains for dogs which are located at the bottom of the normal water fountains. The park also contains pavilions for dog owners to rest.
“The project has been a long and rewarding experience,” said Hynes. “We had a lot of hiccups and setbacks such as Hurricane Sandy. The experience was meaningful and it was a great trial of leadership and wingmanship.”
The modest boulder’s inscription, which lies at the entrance to the park, reads “Built by the men and women of the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron in honor of the families at JB MDL.”