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NEWS | June 29, 2017

Engineers construct troop readiness at Hohenfels

By Sgt. Karen Sampson 7th Army Training Command

The fourth rotation of engineer Soldiers participating in the Joint Multinational Readiness Center’s Troop Construction Program (TCP) 2017 arrived on the heels of the multinational exercise Combined Resolve XIII at Hohenfels, Germany.

The group of nearly 180 Soldiers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas representing U.S. Army Reserve’s 412th and 416th Theater Engineer Commands, are on are executing the TCP 2017 mission by constructing complex elements essential to the training area’s operational environment.

These contributions are essential in maintaining and enhancing capabilities of JMRC and U.S. Army Europe’s premiere multinational training area.

Already ahead of the game-plan, these engineer Soldiers are working with the spirit of the historical command motto “Build to serve,” as their actions establish ownership and construct the foundation of total force readiness.

The 377th Vertical Engineer Company, from Butler, Pa., overall mission is to construct, repair, and maintain vertical infrastructures supporting JMRC’s training environment and Hohenfels training area during their annual training.

“We have Soldiers conducting inventory on JMRC’s Troop Construction Yard and constructing smaller projects around the cantonment,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Dougherty, Platoon Sergeant of 1st and 2nd platoon, 377th Engineer Co. “Our 3rd platoon will build a pole barn as a storage structure for JMRC’s Troop Construction Yard.”

Soldiers of 377th En. Co.’s 1st Platoon are tasked in finishing a storage building at JMRC’s Instrumentation Training Analysis Computer Simulations and Support Center, he added.

“Our work on the ITACSS area includes setting trusses, sheeting and tiling the roof, and applying stucco,” said Sgt. Jason Williford, Interior Electrician from 377th Engineer Co.

The 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment asked the 377th EN Co. to construct a new podium on 1-4 IN Regt’s Warrior Field.

“The 377th EN Co. has been willing to adjust their mission and construction “on-the-fly,” said Sergeant 1st Class Reko Parker, JMRC’s Army Reserve Engineer Construction Senior NCO.

West side of Hohenfels training area, Sgt. Khoua Thao, surveyor from the 605th Construction Management Team, supporting the 372nd Construction Brigade, peers through a scope across a built up land mass intended as a take-off and landing strip for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Thao works with eight other Soldiers as part of the design team communicating with the 277th Horizontal Engineer Company heavy equipment operators as to how much land fill is necessary to build up the UAS landing strip.

As two dump trucks guided by ground crew pile earth excavated from a nearby quarry, a heavy grater passes twice spreading the layer evenly. The ground crew waves to a sheepsfoot roller operator indicating the soil is ready to compact.
“Our Soldiers are happy to work within their occupational specialty,” said Sgt. Aaron Lawson, heavy equipment operator and Soldier from 277th EN Co.

According to the USAR Sustained Readiness Model, Soldiers get to perform occupational tasks during required annual training in years two and three.

“Across the U.S. Army Reserve component it is a challenge to keep Soldiers working in their occupational specialties,” said Brig. Gen. Phillip Jolly, Deputy Commanding General for Mobilization & Reserve Affairs U.S. Army Europe. “The Army Reserve Engineer Construction finds opportunities for these units around Europe.”

“While becoming combat ready these troops are working within their specialty outside the combat zone,” said Jolly.

Some unique points about JMRC’s Troop Construction Project 2017 is all Mission Essential Tasks (METL) are performed on real world construction. The new training assets are essential to JMRC’s operational environment, enhancing the centers contributes to infrastructure development in a cost efficient manner.