Engineer troops survey Liberty for new maps

Multi-National Division Baghdad
Story by 1st Lt. Michael Lind

Date: 11.05.2009
Posted: 11.06.2009 03:07
News ID: 41176
Engineer troops survey Liberty for new maps

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A temporary increase in the number of Soldiers moving through Camp Liberty is expected as the U.S. military transitions to a responsible drawdown in Iraq. <br /> <br /> This increase means plans to improve facilities and security; an impossible task without updated maps. <br /> <br /> Troops of the 621st Survey and Design Team, 101st Engineer Battalion, 16th Eng. Brigade, surveyed Camp Liberty, Nov. 5, to provide leaders and Soldiers with updated maps. <br /> <br /> From North Carolina, the National Guard team includes two survey teams and one drafting team who are responsible for architectural design, land survey, and cartography.<br /> <br /> "[The 621st] provides topographical data in our areas of responsibilities and provides input for better utilization of existing structures," said Staff Sgt. Glenn Cornett, of Hazard, Ky.<br /> <br /> After receiving the mission a few weeks ago, the 621st engineers grabbed their gear and set up tripods around various points across Camp Liberty to record up to date survey readings.<br /> <br /> "The Trimble 5600 is one of the instruments used for collecting traverse, topographic, and as built data. The Trimble R-8 is the [Global Positioning Satellite] device used to collect real time data to tie into existing maps," said Spc. Derek Adams, of Gastonia, N.C.<br /> <br /> According to Adams, the tripods provide a plumb and level base. With a perfect setup, the R-8 can grab GPS data and location by referencing other GPS points through traverse methods that utilize angles and distances. <br /> <br /> In all, the mission is a three phase process.<br /> <br /> "We survey the roads and ditches to get GPS coordinates and make sure that current points are in synch with previously documented readings," said Spc. Micah Mahadeo, from Stanley, N.C.<br /> <br /> Once new data is synchronized, the surveyors then compile new statistics for the outlay changes to Camp Liberty. <br /> <br /> "We then deal with surveying canals, boundaries, T-Walls, utilities, power poles, building structures, and sewers," said Sgt. Daveline Harris, the survey team leader from Charlotte, N.C.<br /> <br /> According to Harris, line of sight from instrument to prism is crucial in determining accurate readings on elevation, distance, and other land feature information.<br /> <br /> "Once [the surveyors] go out and record points and elevations...we turn the data over to the drafters so they can review the stats," said Harris. <br /> <br /> In the third phase, surveyors download their data into computer systems for the designers to verify the information is accurate.<br /> <br /> "Once accurate, we use our best engineering judgment to design structures such as buildings, roadways, lighting projects, or gates," said Staff Sgt. William Burriola, from Fairmont, N.C.<br /> <br /> When the three phases are complete, the information is sent up to higher, where maps are produced. <br /> <br /> "Maps [that we help make] are a combined effort of the surveyors and the designers. Higher levels than us create them; we give them the data to make it happen," said Cornett.<br /> <br /> "We have a sense of accomplishment knowing we help define and produce topographical maps that will be used for years to come," said Burriola.<br />