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    841st Hurricanes Leave Their Mark in Eastern Europe

    841st Hurricanes Leave Their Mark in Eastern Europe

    Photo By Capt. Jose Lopez Jr | The 841st Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, out of Miami, Florida participated in...... read more read more

    NOVO SELO, BULGARIA

    08.05.2016

    Story by Capt. Jose Lopez Jr 

    841st Engineer Battalion

    NOVO SELO, Bulgaria - The 841st Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, out of Miami, Florida participated in Operation Resolute Castle from June to August 2016 as part of their extended combat training. Operation Resolute Castle is a United States Army Europe led military construction operation that includes constructing roadways and infrastructure improvements. These efforts span Eastern Europe taking place in Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and Hungary. Soldiers from several companies rotated through over a span of several weeks from a variety of military occupational specialties including medical, and vertical and horizontal construction.

    The 841st Eng Bn. has a long and storied history in regards to entering foreign countries to improve infrastructure. Designated the 841st Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB) on August 1, 1942, the battalion is credited with building runways and airfield support facilities in the Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea and Luzon during World War II. During the Korean War the battalion is credited with participation in three separate campaigns consisting of airfield construction projects at different bases including what is now Osan Air Base. The battalion has seen one tour to Afghanistan involving route clearance missions.

    During their time in Europe as part of Resolute Castle, the 841st Eng. Bn. was involved in seven projects in Bulgaria and one project in Romania. During the battalion’s first rotation the 758th Engineer Company, U.S. Army Reserve, completed a quality assessment/quality control inspection consisting of four subject matter experts verifying construction work for 14 days. In addition to the work in Romania, the first rotation oversaw the Navy Seabees completion of two wooden pavilions and a motor pool brake test and building at Novo Selo, Bulgaria.

    In Novo Selo specifically, the battalion assumed responsibility for the construction of Non Standard Firing Lanes (NSFLs), laying the foundation of the Ammunition Holding Area (AHA) and the construction of culverts. Upon assumption of the mission, the battalion took a quick survey of where the projects stood and determined the best course of action to accomplish the assigned mission. When the first battalion soldiers touched ground, the main projects at Novo Selo were at 18% completion. The battalion’s organic units, the 758 Eng. Co. and the 766 Eng. Co. worked jointly to emplace two low water crossings that resulted in increased maneuverability and will aid in erosion prevention. There was a solid handoff between the two rotations with the second rotation building off of the momentum of the first. Altogether, the battalion achieved a 79% completion of the Non-standard firing lanes, went from 12% to 44% on the Ammunition Holding Area (AHA) and a 56% completion on a culvert construction mission.

    In order to accomplish the impressive amount of construction work that the battalion completed, it was necessary to have soldiers cross train on equipment. Both horizontal and vertical construction soldiers trained extensively on the backhoe loader, skid steer loader, 10 and 20-ton dump trucks, the heavy excavator and various sizes of forklifts. This equipment was vital to transporting the materials that enabled the unit to construct 5.8 miles of rock road and emplace 250 Articulated Concrete Matts (ACB) weighing 7,000 pounds each.

    In addition to focusing on laying rock, the battalion maintenance teams supplied by the Forward Support Company kept the dump trucks and heavy equipment rolling. During the rotations, maintenance teams repaired and or replaced approximately 50 tires on the 10 and 20-ton dump trucks per rotation, working an average of 12-hour days. However, by their very nature maintenance is always on call and the battalion’s soldiers never let a maintenance issue stop construction. This allowed the engineers to focus just on the construction projects and not have to be delayed with maintenance.

    In the medical section, battalion medical personnel reinforced critical skill sets by conducting two simulated casualty evacuation exercises and teaching Combat LifeSaver (CLS) recertification classes. CLS classes are important as the military uses the buddy aid system. By ensuing that each solider knows basic first aid they are able to get better care faster. The battalion was the first unit at Novo Selo to conduct such drills during Resolute Castle 16 and received praise from both Resolute Castle staff and Novo Selo staff. In order to ensure safety, a medic, as they are known in the Army, was present at each job site in order to provide critical first responder care.

    The battalion operations officer, Maj. Dave Ridenour, oversaw the battalion operations center. Utilizing a battle captain and battle non-commissioned officer, Capt. Don Cesarone III and Staff Sgt. Brian Stahle, ensured the operations center was alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff ensured that vital equipment and logistical reports were sent to all echelons in order to maximize effectiveness of personnel and equipment. Unique to the Army Reserve is the fact that while only serving part-time, many personnel have either deployed or joined the Reserves after time spent on active duty. This enables a unit to come together and draw on the sum of everyone’s experience enabling more effective operations.

    The battalion performed superbly and ensured that all goals were met and projects were on track, ensuring that the Hurricane battalion is leaving a lasting mark on Resolute Castle and Eastern Europe.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.05.2016
    Date Posted: 08.08.2016 07:21
    Story ID: 206377
    Location: NOVO SELO, BG 

    Web Views: 178
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    841st Hurricanes Leave Their Mark in Eastern Europe