News: Civil Engineers share expertise across work sites
Story by Michael Frye
PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- As 20 Civil Engineers from the 114th Fighter Wing continued installation of the roof trusses at the Alkmaar Clinic in Commewijne district, members from the 556th Red Horse Squadron worked to lay the final courses on the walls at the Nieuw Amsterdam Clinic, July 2.
“We needed a skilled person in laying block and with the experience Sgt. Moulton has from the 114th Fighter Wing and his civilian job, we knew bringing him onsite would help fill that leadership role and allow us to complete this phase of the job on time,” said Maj. A.C. White, Officer in Charge of the 556th Red Horse Squadron at the Nieuw Amsterdam Clinic.
“We tried to anticipate where we’d be in the building process and knew the walls would be nearly finished at the Alkmaar Clinic, so we put some of our strong block layers on this first rotation so we had that expertise available in the event we needed them,” said Capt. Jody Page, 114th Civil Engineer Squadron operations officer.
“It’s been valuable having those skills available to help out at the other sites and also to have their guys come to our site to see what we’ve learned.”
Staff Sgt. Justin Moulton and most reserve and National Guard civil engineers bring many different skills from their civilian jobs to the military.
“My civilian job has helped out a lot in my military career because most guys in my shop haven’t dealt with masonry,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Moulton.
Structures specialists Staff Sgt. Brian Sudkamp and Senior Airman Karl McClamma from the 556th Red Horse Squadron also were brought onsite with the 114th Civil Engineers to assist with the installation of the roof truss.
Sudkamp, an Engineering Apprentice reservist from the 445th Civil Engineers at Wright-Patterson, Ohio, also has owned his own roofing and remodeling business in Florence, Ky., for the past 15 years. He understands the challenges of using a metal truss system and the advantage of getting to visit a site where the system already was being installed to pick up on lessons learned.
“Using the metal trusses is different. With wood trusses you can put bracing in anywhere, but metal you need to get it right the first time,” said Sudkamp. “It definitely helps to come over to another site. The 114th Civil Engineers had already learned that the end trusses are smaller so we need to start in one truss to make the bracing work. It probably saved us several hours because it’s already been tested and the best method determined.”
The airmen working at the Nieuw Amsterdam Clinic hope to have the walls finished and begin placing the roof trusses within a few days. The Alkmaar Clinic construction started a few days earlier, so the civil engineers from the 114th Fighter Wing anticipate the roof will be finished by Sunday afternoon and electrical work, water tank installation, and painting can be started.
Construction of the Nieuw Amsterdam and Alkmaar Clinics are part of Exercise New Horizons 2011, an annual partnership between the United States Southern Command and Suriname. Airmen, soldiers, Marines and sailors are constructing playgrounds, schools, clinics, participating in humanitarian events, and training of security forces as part of the exercise, which runs from June 2 to Sept. 2.