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NEWS | June 20, 2016

412th Engineers build detainee complex

By Spc. Gary Yim 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Twenty-eight Army Reserve Soldiers from 412th Engineer Company are building an 11-cell detainee complex over the next week here.

The Scranton, Pennsylvania-based unit is here to complete their two-week annual training requirement.

“We have a lot of young, new Soldiers in our platoon,” said Staff Sgt. James Riggall, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the project. “This project allows us to get these guys experience facing and overcoming challenges we run into.”

Some of the challenges include adapting to inexact supplies, reacting to weather, and working under time constraints.

“The project calls for eight-foot, ten-foot and 12-foot-long boards, but we were supplied with only 16-foot-long boards,” said Riggall. “[The Soldiers] are learning how to cut them down to size, and how to do it in a limited amount of time so that we can fit critical pieces together.”

As Army Reserve Soldiers, the engineers are taking advantage of the project to become more familiar with their military occupational specialties.

“I’m learning how to frame and I’m getting more proficient with the tools,” said Pvt. Jeff Ohara, a carpenter on the project. “They taught us it in [Advanced Individual Training], but there they were very vague. Sgt. [David] Nash just taught me how to use the laser level. I’ve never used one before.”

Even the unit medic was helping cut wood. “I like being part of an engineer unit,” said Spc. Chiarra Overpeck. “I get to do different things that I’ve never done before.”

The project is scheduled to be complete on June 22.