Army Reserve engineers improve Fort Pickett infrastructure

Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the Marion, Virginia-based 760th Engineer Company, 363rd Engineer Battalion work to improve sidewalks at the Maneuver Training Center, Fort Pickett during their extended combat training July 14-27, 2018, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The Soldiers rebuilt sidewalks and helped improve roads in conjunction with Fort Pickett Department of Public Works. (Courtesy Photo)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the Marion, Virginia-based 760th Engineer Company, 363rd Engineer Battalion worked to improve sidewalks at the Maneuver Training Center Fort Pickett during their extended combat training July 14-27, 2018, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The Soldiers conducted the training as part of several troop projects across the post in coordination with the Fort Pickett Department of Public Works during the battalion’s annual two-week training.

“Troop projects often help augment labor and manpower assets on projects that the post either hasn’t prioritized or is unable to execute utilizing organic resources,” said Capt. Michael Schaeffer, deputy director of Fort Pickett Department of Public Works. “The end product is often times more improved than what was previously there, leaving future units and service members better infrastructure to improve their training environment and experience while here at Fort Pickett. “

In addition to the sidewalk improvement, Soldiers from the 363rd also worked on roadway repairs near Drop Zone Castles. The different missions were tied to the various engineer company’s unique capabilities and designed to incorporate real-life experience into the training.

“You match the Soldiers and the equipment set with the mission,” said Maj. Winston Nabors, operations officer of the 363rd Engineer Battalion. “We have all our different, unique engineer companies out here doing different things.”

This training was beneficial to the Soldiers who often only meet once a month for training over a two-day weekend, commonly known as a Battle Assembly weekend.

“They benefit from laying concrete because it gives them more experience. They don’t always get a chance to get out on a regular BA and take on long projects because the projects obviously take more than two days,” said Nabors. “They did a really good job. Some of these guys probably haven’t laid concrete since this time, last year.”

This is the engineer battalion’s third trip to Fort Pickett for training in two years. The unit utilized Fort Pickett facilities twice last year for their training.

This year the unit played an important role in assisting to maintain the various facilities and training areas located on Fort Pickett.

“Fort Pickett’s DPW encompasses employees maintaining over 41,000 acres and over 900 facilities throughout the installation,” according to Schaeffer. “Facilities maintenance is often impacted by priority of effort missions that take away from the DPW sustaining even the smallest of projects. Projects like this assist in alleviating this shortfall while still completing the overall mission.”