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    52nd BEB Partners with Fire Department to Make Fort Carson Safe

    52BEB Supports Local Fire Fighters

    Photo By 1st Lt. Zade Koch | A Soldier assigned to 52nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat...... read more read more

    FORT CARSON, CO, UNITED STATES

    09.09.2022

    Story by 1st Lt. Zade Koch 

    2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

    In the often hot, arid climate of Colorado, a wildfire, if unchecked, could spread through large portions of the Fort Carson training area, obstructing training and endangering thousands of residents.

    Since March, 52nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division has partnered with its installation’s fire department, the Fort Carson Fire Department, to help control wildfires.

    Ft. Carson Fire Dept. travels on dirt access roads throughout the training area when a fire occurs to suppress the blaze. Over the years, some roads in the 215 square miles of training area have become overgrown, rutted, or washed out. This prevents Ft. Carson Fire Dept. from quickly accessing many parts of the training area.

    Fortunately, 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. engineers have worked diligently over the past five months to improve over 25 miles of access roads so Ft. Carson Fire Dept. can travel more safely and quickly to control wildfires.

    In August, 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. engineers improved a tough three miles of road near Booth Mountain, a local landmark reaching 6,450 ft. of elevation above sea level and 640 ft. above its surrounding terrain.

    This mountainous and rocky section was initially overgrown by vegetation or washed out from flooding. Even Ft. Carson Fire Dept.’s powerful F-550 brush trucks could not safely traffic the roads.

    After surveying the land with Ft. Carson Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Mitchum Van Dyke, 3rd Plt. got to work.

    The platoon’s 120M grader could re-grade flatter sections of the road. Most other sections required more earthmoving to improve their trafficability.

    D6 bulldozers cut necessary sections of soil and removed larger rocks. High Mobility Engineer Excavators then used their front-end buckets to carry in new soil for the roadway. The 120M grader smoothed out the remaining ruts as a finishing touch.

    The still steep, windy roads may not make a smooth Sunday drive, but they now allow Ft. Carson Fire Dept. trucks to travel in case of emergencies.

    Sgt. Antonio Enriquez, the acting platoon sergeant on the jobsite, recalled, “I’ve worked with them [firefighters] before; it’s refreshing. There is a bigger picture to what we’re doing. What we’re doing has a purpose; it’s meaningful to another organization, other people.”

    Fortunately, before joining the Army, Enriquez served as a Type 1 Wildland Firefighter for three years in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

    Ft. Carson Fire Dept. agreed that the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. work had a significant impact.

    Ft. Carson Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Van Dyke planned which roads to work on, basing his decision on roadway conditions and a risk assessment of fires in the training area. Van Dyke’s team at Ft. Carson Fire Dept. was also heavily involved on-site by scouting locations, supervising work, and testing trafficability for their trucks.

    So far, the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. has completed Ft. Carson Fire Dept.’s top three priority areas.

    According to Van Dyke’s ambitious plan, there are still many miles to go. As the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. prepares for an upcoming training rotation, the project will cede to a different Bde. Eng. Bn. on Ft. Carson to continue the work.

    Over the past five months, the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn. has fit its work with Ft. Carson Fire Dept. into a busy training schedule.

    As an Engineer Support Platoon in the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn., 3rd Plt. concentrates on counter mobility and survivability missions supporting the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

    The platoon’s Horizontal Construction Engineers typically use their digging assets to construct anti-tank ditches, Stryker defilades, and crew-served fighting positions.

    This unique mission was a new training opportunity for the platoon.

    Enriquez describes, “the platoon got to understand what it’s like to make roads. They got a better understanding of what it’s like in the civilian world when they get out.”

    The fire mission has been a boon for the 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn., Ft. Carson Fire Dept., and Ft. Carson. The 52nd Bde. Eng. Bn.’s engineers learned new skills to augment their mission and prepare them for work outside the Army.

    Similarly, Ft. Carson Fire Dept. can now travel the training area more quickly and safely to fulfill its mission of controlling fires on Ft. Carson.

    Most importantly, the Soldiers and Families on Ft. Carson are now a bit safer, knowing their fire department is more capable than ever.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.09.2022
    Date Posted: 09.09.2022 14:06
    Story ID: 428919
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US

    Web Views: 184
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN