News: Soldiers participate in Castle Installation Related Construction
Story by Spc. True Thao
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Soldiers with the 461st Engineer Company out of Grand Forks, N.D., traveled here to participate in Castle Installation Related Construction for their annual training July 13-26.
The 461st was tasked to complete four projects while conducting their annual training. They were tasked to tear down and rebuild a latrine, build a detainee cell, clear brush and trees and re-shingle a roof.
“Our mission out here is to conduct various building projects so that the soldiers can add onto their military occupation specialty,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tommy L. Le, noncommissioned officer in charge with the 461st Engineer Company. “It's good training that allows the soldiers to cross-train in different tasks within the unit.”
This training allows soldiers right out of Advance Individual Training to test their newly acquired skills, while allowing those with experience to refresh theirs. Many of the soldiers with the 461st have experience with this type of work on the civilian side, making it easier for the unit to complete their mission.
The tasks were divided among each platoon within the unit. 1st platoon was assigned to construct a detainee cell, 2nd platoon was assigned to rebuild a latrine and 3rd platoon was assigned to complete a roofing project, as well as clear brush and trees.
With each building project at different locations, communication was a big factor for the unit. Communication between platoons was vital in ensuring all materials needed were provided and each platoon was on schedule to complete their assigned tasks.
“We visit each job site making sure the soldiers are doing their job and that they have the right tools to complete the mission,” said Le. “We also have a briefing every day to allow the platoons to report their progress and any issues that they are having.”
Being able to communicate allowed the 461st to move their soldiers to different job sites, giving them a chance to cross-train into different tasks.
“It allows me to learn other jobs within the unit,” said Spc. Michael Sargent, a plumber with the 461st Engineer Company. “I know it will be beneficial for me and my military career.”
With the 461st performing various tasks at different job sites, the unit made sure everyone was staying hydrated while performing their task in the sweltering heat. With the temperatures reaching heat category five by mid-morning, the unit stocked up on ice and water.
“Our number one priority is for the soldiers to stay hydrated,” said Le. “We make sure they hydrate the night before going out to the job sites and we have good platoon sergeants enforcing that.”
Le, who has been deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, says this may not be as hot as Iraq but it allows the soldiers to experience what it could be like.
Despite the scorching heat, the soldiers continue with their mission of working together and staying hydrated in order to stay on track to complete their mission by July 23.
“We are looking good for our mission,” said Le. “With such great teamwork and the soldiers doing their jobs, we will complete it in no time.”