After cities, towns and military installations are built comes the never ending job of keeping them maintained and adding improvements.
For the Marines with Company C, 3rd Engineer Support Battalion, they have been doing both at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center during Operation Javelin Thrust.
Their main mission was sidewalk repair to help increase base safety by getting the Marines off the road on their way to the post exchange.
“We have made a new 500 foot side walk to get the Marines off the street,” said Sgt. Andrew Zykan, a combat engineer with Company C, 3rd ESB, and a Saint Louis County, Minn., native. “The hardest part of it was we had to dig out all of it with hand tools.”
After digging out, the critical component didn’t come into play until July 26.
“Today was the day we finally got the concrete so it was the make or break with our mission,” said Cpl. Austin Noble, a combat engineer from Washburn, Ill.
As the Marines progressed with their projects, some of the leaders began to see how to use the experience in other parts of their job.
“We have been working well with the materials on hand and some of the concrete work will cross over to road repair that some people have to do overseas,” said Noble. “All of the construction with wood will be of great help overseas because we have to work with it all the time in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Besides the main mission, the Marines also repaired a sink hole on one of the main supply routes used during the exercise.
The sink hole wasn’t one of the original missions but because of the high visibility and that it hampered Operation Javelin Thrust we helped them fill it in, Conrad said. It was actually good training for the Marines since fixing a sink hole and an improvised explosive device require many of the same skills and tools.
As the tasks are completed one after another, the skill and speed the Marines has be amazing.
“The Marines have performed above and beyond everything that was expected of them,” Conrad said.
Article by Cpl. Andrew Thorburn, Marine Forces Reserve