Kentucky engineers improve training areas in Germany

Story by Capt. Michael Lawson, 206th Engineer Battalion

130th AT 2

Soldiers of the 130th Engineer Co. and 441st Survey and Design Team assist with the construction of helipad sites at the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. The units spent their annual training in Germany providing various improvements to the JMRC. (Photo by Spc. Joseph Snow)

HOHENFELS, Germany — The 130th Engineer Support Company and the 441st Survey & Design Team participated in an overseas deployment to Hohenfels, Germany from Aug. 4-24 with the mission of improving training areas at Joint Multi-National Readiness Center (JMRC).  The tasks included the construction of four 40S Helipad sites and a combat trail to give access from an existing road to the new helipads.

The unit was kept busy during the duration of their annual training with platoons spread out among various job locations.  The maintenance section provided support for both engineer equipment as well as rolling stock for the duration of the deployment.  Overall the training conducted at JMRC was productive and everyone who participated in the deployment was able to conduct training based on the Companies’ mission.

“The training conducted while in Germany was very useful as it applied to one of the unit’s mission essential task list,” said Sgt. 1st Class Troy Piper, Readiness NCO for the 130th. “We had the ability to work on multiple projects and train Soldiers at platoon level.  It was also a great opportunity for many of our Soldiers to experience a different culture.”

130th AT 1

Soldiers of the 130th Engineer Co. work on construction improvements at the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Aug. 2012. (Photo by Spc. Joseph Snow)

During the deployment the unit was visited by Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, the Adjutant General of Kentucky, who expressed great appreciation for the effort of the Soldiers and their professionalism in representing the Kentucky National Guard.

“This is a great opportunity for our troops to practice their skills while at the same time supporting the Army’s training facilities here in Germany,” said Tonini.  “It’s no secret that our combat engineers are among the best in the United States military.  I’m glad to see them getting this chance to do what they love and at the same time help out our brothers in arms.”

The unit also had a chance to do a little sightseeing while in Germany.  There was an opportunity for a Moral Welfare & Recreation (MWR) day for the Soldiers.  Some went to Nuremberg, the sight of the post WWII war trials, while others went to Regensburg and visited the local sights.  All were given the chance to experience the local foods and customs.

Unit leaders said the 130th Engineer Support Company will take this training and experience into the next training year and build their technical skill and the unit’s overall esprit de corps.  This was the first training mission to Germany for the units.

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