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 July 09, 2010

Training

Engineer unit works on airfield during Operation Essayons

By Sgt. Seth Meyers, 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers from 333rd Engineering Company from Reading Pa., began various construction projects at Fort McCoy, Wis., as part of their annual training June 12-26 to support Operation Essayons.

PHOTO: Two bulldozers, operated by 333rd Engineering Company Soldiers, prepare to free a stuck vehicle, before resuming their work to move and compact material for the airstrip and taxiway extension at Young Air Assault Strip. Contributed photo
Two bulldozers, operated by 333rd Engineering Company Soldiers, prepare to free a stuck vehicle, before resuming their work to move and compact material for the airstrip and taxiway extension at Young Air Assault Strip. Contributed photo

One of these projects is to move and expand an airstrip used to land C-17s. Before 333rd improvements, the airstrip only could handle one C-17 at a time. By moving and expanding the airstrip, it now will be able to accommodate the landing of C-17s while still using the taxiway for other C-17s at the same time, said Sgt. Kurtis Bowers, a Grandfield, Pa., native and noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the airstrip project.

This training gave the 333rd time on the equipment and experience in the job, which will prepare them for deployment.

“We are a fairly young company. Most of our troops have only operated equipment during AIT (advanced individual training). This is probably the biggest project they’ll ever have,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Holleran, a Reading, Pa., native and 333rd construction equipment supervisor, 2nd platoon leader.

The airstrip was just one of eight missions handled by Operation Essayons, with two being done by the 333rd. These missions not only will improve the craft of engineering units like the 333rd, they will improve the experience of units mobilizing through Fort McCoy, said Maj. Rick Stubblefield, battalion executive officer of the 467th Engineer Battalion and a Millington, Tenn. native.

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