Helping hands

Bonnie Learning
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American troops progressing with roadwork at 5 Wing Goose Bay

American troops are on the ground in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, as they partner with their Canadian comrades in some major construction projects, such as building roads at 5 Wing Goose Bay. Some members of the 277th   Engineering Company taking part in the work include: (front) Specialist Angela Cruz, Sgt. Anthony Pearson; (back) Specialist Raul Rodriguez, Specialist Jason Mata, Specialist James Hancock, Sgt. Robert Gonzales; and Capt. Michael Davis, 980th Engineer Battalion.

The temperatures have been hot, but that hasn’t slowed down the progress being made on a new road at 5 Wing Goose Bay.

Over 30 American military personnel are hard at work building a new road that will connect Kittyhawk Road to Lahar Road.

Members of the 277th   Engineering Company — of the 980th Engineer Battalion — have been on site at 5 Wing Goose Bay as part of ‘Operation Northern Star’ since earlier this summer.

The crew currently working the road construction for the next few weeks are the second rotation of American troops based at 5 Wing, as they help their Canadian comrades with major construction projects, including road and bridge projects.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Odegaard is the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of the 37 personnel.

“We’re enjoying it here immensely,” said Odegaard.

“Just (a couple of days ago), we had an incident where one of our vehicles went down. It was like a real mission scenario — the maintenance crew was able to reclaim the vehicle, and get another in its place. And it only took 40 minutes; I’ve seen other operations (like this) take hours.”

He added the training this incident provided was invaluable.

“This kind of thing happens all the time in theatre operations,” he said.

“Except there, you’re usually getting shot at.”

Odegaard said this project is also great experience for all their soldiers, especially the junior enlisted.

“This allows them to get their required operational time on over 10 pieces of heavy equipment, including bobcats, graders, bulldozers, and compactors,” he said.

Capt. Michael Davis of the 980th Engineer Battalion, said the new road will create easier access to the Goose Bay Airport terminal.

“This new road will provide direct access (to the airport), with no turns, and not having to go through a 30 km/hr zone,” he explained.

“It will also make for a quicker shot to the Arcturus Theatre.”

Davis said he expects the asphalt to be laid in early September, at which time, it will be open to the public.


Organizations: Engineering Company, Non-Commissioned, Goose Bay Airport Arcturus Theatre

Geographic location: Wing Goose Bay, Kittyhawk Road, Lahar Road

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