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