|By Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services
of Soldiers from the 176th Engineer Brigade walked along cantonment
streets and fields and through the wooded areas on the training lanes at
Fort McCoy — one Soldier carrying a pole with an oblong ball on the tip,
the other Soldier with a hand-held device.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Daniels, left,
holds the remote survey recording device as Spc. Benjamin Martin
holds the Global Navigation Satellite System surveying receiver
while both were on a training mission at Fort McCoy, Wis. Both
are surveyor engineers with the 176th Engineer Brigade, which is
training at Fort McCoy to deploy in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom. (Photo by
Sgt. 1st Class Matt Arrington)
The Texas Army National Guard Soldiers were training to deploy in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The technical engineer surveyors
used new Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to read information
from an orbiting satellite and record it on the hand-held device. The
data is loaded to a computer program and system, which, in turn, allows
surveyors to calculate positions within one centimeter.
Robert Faircloth, a military-certified trainer with Trimble Navigation
Limited, of Westminster, Colo., said the new equipment helps surveyors
produce topographical maps in an efficient manner. “This new gear is a
major upgrade from previous surveying equipment.”
Older survey equipment required a line-of-sight to take measurements.
The GPS version needs an open sky to read the satellites although it
should be located at least slightly away from large natural or man-made
“Trimble equipment works in all weather,” Faircloth said. “It’s not
affected by clouds. This equipment is the latest and greatest for
Faircloth spent five days at Fort McCoy instructing the 176th Soldiers.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Daniels, a surveyor with the 176th, said the use of
the equipment is totally new. “We just received it since coming to Fort
“This new equipment is important to our job because it takes half the
time to operate it compared to the older style of survey gear,” Daniels
said. “Much of that is because it works off of a satellite.”
Daniels said the survey equipment helps Soldiers establish exact
location points for forward operating bases or combat operating bases.
“That information is requested by higher headquarters for their planning
of infrastructure projects or rebuilding of destroyed areas. This survey
equipment is the first step in the building and rebuilding process.”