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    Army Reserve Soldiers from 801st Engineer Company honored by Vallejo

    Army Reserve Soldiers from 801st Engineer Company honored by Vallejo

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kenneth Burkhart | VALLEJO, Calif.-Right, Mayor Bob Sampayan reads the city's proclamation recognizing...... read more read more

    VALLEJO, CA, UNITED STATES

    01.28.2020

    Story by Staff Sgt. Kenneth Burkhart 

    302nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    VALLEJO, Calif.- Army Reserve Soldiers were recognized, by the mayor and city council, for their ongoing efforts to repair the Mare Island Naval Cemetery, during a city council meeting, Jan. 28, 2020.

    Ten Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 801st Engineer Company, which is headquartered on Mare Island, accepted a city proclamation from Mayor Bob Sampayan to recognize the troops’ restoration of the historic military graveyard, which had fallen into disrepair.

    "Our business is readiness," said Army Maj. Douglas Hayes, from the Army Reserve’s 397th Engineering Battalion and the officer in charge of the Soldiers’ work. "All commanders are about is readiness, readiness, readiness. We want to help the community."

    After receiving the award, Hayes briefed the mayor, city council and audience, with a detailed progress report that showed the ongoing MINC repairs, with before and after photos, along with the final objectives.

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense innovation readiness training program funds the project, said Hayes.

    According to Hayes, units in all branches of the military work on IRT projects annually.

    The IRTs provide real world training opportunities for their personnel and help military units maintain their readiness, he added.

    The OSD provides money anytime the military readiness training requirements overlap with the needs of a community or civic organization, according to Hayes.

    The community or civic organization can then make an IRT application request to the OSD, he added.

    The 801st Eng. Co. IRT plan was submitted by Hayes in early August 2019. The IRT project began with the 801st Eng. Co. later that month.

    Their mission, reclaim the cemetery from the ravages of time.

    The unit first salvaged the fence and then started groundwork in September.

    Then, the Army Reserve’s 322nd Engineer Company, which is headquartered in Nevada, arrived in Dec. 2019 and began the work of clearing the north fence line.

    "We are going to replace the perimeter fence, and two retaining walls in the interior of the cemetery, and construct an 18-foot-diameter patio around the cemetery flagpole," said Hayes.

    There are two drains that will also be replaced, he said.

    One was a pipe that was constructed before WWII out of vitrified clay pipe and has since filled with mud and is no longer effective, he added. This allowed sheeting of water to come off the hill side and down into the cemetery.

    "I'm learning how to deal with wet conditions," said Army Pfc. Chase Morgan, 801st Eng. Co., “to me it’s been great training."

    The MINC has a long history.

    The graveyard is the final resting place for many military members and civilians including Navy Sailors, Marines and their families as well as three Medal of Honor recipients and Anna Arnold Key Turner, the daughter of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the United States' national anthem.

    "It's awesome," Morgan added. "It's crazy to look out on those names. I don't want to disrespect them. So I'm careful when I work. I want to put some love into it and make it beautiful again."

    According to Hayes, the repair and restoration on the MINC is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day.

    "I'm excited for the people of Mare Island and the (Mare Island) Preserve,” Hayes said. "I think that this project will make a tremendous difference."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.28.2020
    Date Posted: 02.18.2020 20:05
    Story ID: 361423
    Location: VALLEJO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 140
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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