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 July 09, 2010

Training

476th Engineer Detachment surveys, sets guidelines for airfield project

Story & photo by Staff Sgt. Dave Lankford, 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Army Reserve engineers from Pennsylvania traveled to Wisconsin recently to aid in a large-scale construction project.

PHOTO: Spc. Matthew Morris, a surveyor with the 476th Engineer Detachment, confirms measurements on a runway extension project. Photo by Staff Sgt. Dave Lankford
Spc. Matthew Morris, a surveyor with the 476th Engineer Detachment, confirms measurements on a runway extension project.

Members of the 476th Engineer Detachment out of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., traveled to Fort McCoy in mid-June to lend their surveying skills to several construction projects taking place on the military installation. The largest of the projects is a runway extension.

Spc. Matthew Morris, a surveyor with the 476th Engineer Detachment, and a resident of Saylorsburg, Pa., says the goal of the project is to enable the airfield to taxi and land aircraft simultaneously. The job of Morris’s unit was to set the guidelines for the heavy-equipment operators to follow.

“We stake out the centerline and edge of road so (the construction crews) know what to shoot for,” said Morris.

Morris went on to explain that when the project is complete there will be an additional 3,300 feet of runway on which to land and taxi aircraft.

Spc. Corrin Mack, a team leader on the project and native of Slatington, Pa., says experience as a surveyor in the Army Reserve can go a long way toward certification in a civilian career.

“The only difference between military surveyors and our civilian counterparts is the precision we work with,” said Mack. “The military has been using (global positioning systems) in its surveying equipment long before civilians.”

Mack also says that time spent as a surveyor in the Army Reserve counts toward apprenticeship time required for civilian certification. In all, the 476th Engineer Detachment spent two weeks at Fort McCoy as part of their annual training before returning to Pennsylvania.

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