South Dakota engineers enhance Camp Guernsey

By Staff Sgt. Ashley Smith, 197th Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers with the 842nd Engineering Company, South Dakota National Guard, descended upon the north training area on Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center in June to make infrastructure improvements.

The nearly two-week stint involved the engineers installing new culverts, replacing degraded culverts and culminated in the finishing of an entry control point. The entry control point has been a multi-year project that has required the assistance of multiple National Guard units from other states.

“The ECP is an ongoing project that was started in 2013, but due to the lack of resources we have struggled to get that project done,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 David E. Bye, a project manager with the Camp Guernsey Department of Public Works. “Without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Bye emphasized engineer soldier training allows units to train on their mission tasks they will perform once deployed or facilitate their state missions back home, while improving the training areas for other troops to utilize.

“This allowed us a unique opportunity to set up and live in the field, dig in with our vehicle fighting positions and to actually live in as close to an austere environment as we could make it,” said 1st Sgt. Nathan Hedin, general engineering supervisor with the 842nd.

The command team with the 842nd worked closely with Camp Guernsey to select projects that were of priority to the camp while also satisfying their commander’s training objectives.

According to Hedin, the most beneficial aspect of the training is the opportunity to provide the less experienced engineers more time operating the equipment.

“Giving the young operators the chance to operate the equipment, and complete the projects is invaluable,” Hedin said.

Bye welcomed the 842nd Engineer Company back any time. “They are definitely an asset to us here at Camp Guernsey,” he said.

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