[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                          May 8, 2009
Mobilization

New shower point structures improve Soldiers' quality of life at COLs

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

Sgt. Maj. Oscar Kelly helped put the shingles on the roof and the siding on the exterior of the new male shower changing structure at Contingency Operating Location (COL) Freedom.

Photo: Soldiers inspect the interior of the new male shower changing structure at Fort McCoy’s Contingency Operation Location Freedom. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Soldiers inspect the interior of the new male shower changing structure at Fort McCoy’s Contingency Operation Location Freedom. (Photo by Tom Michele)

He also helped direct some of the other Mobilization Support Battalion Soldiers with the set up of a 16-foot-by-32-foot standard B hut at the COL, and then helped direct the fix- up of the interior with sinks, mirrors, benches, wallboards and clothes hangers.

That is probably why he has such a smile when he expresses his personal and professional pride in saying, "We did it to improve the quality of life for our mobilizing Soldiers preparing to go to an overseas theater of operations. That’s what we are all about — to make life comfortable for them, and provide them with what they would like."

Kelly is the non-commissioned-officer-in-charge at COL Freedom, with about 15 Soldiers reporting to Maj. Richard Rastall, the officer-in-charge, or otherwise and officially referred to as the COL "mayor."

"We work in shifts," Kelly said. "We are a 24/7 operation. We maintain and manage the life-support needs for mobilizing Soldiers. That’s an important issue for us."

"We also have the support of at least a dozen civilians from Team Eagle Systems to help maintain the COL infrastructure and to operate the fuel point."

The male shower building is the biggest improvement in recent months at the COL, according to Kelly.

"Previously there was a simple Army canvas tent that was in place and attached to the steel container, CONEX-like, shower room. The tent was almost falling apart. It’s a lot better now. We also set up a new changing tent for the females. The old one also was in poor shape. It is a vast improvement for both the males and the females."

Kelly and his crew also acquired a second B hut, located close to the mayor’s cell, that will be used as a classroom.

"For both structures, it was very cost-effective for the Army," Kelly said. "All of the materials were already on post, and we utilized the crafts skills of almost all of our Soldiers to do all of the work. The esprit de corps of the military and civilian staff is very evident as we make improvements for our Soldier customers."

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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