Dirt Pour Soldiers with 2nd Platoon, 887th Engineer Company, 19th U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were invited to partner in a construction project on Fort Campbell, not only receiving invaluable training experience but also helping return money to the installation through recycling of materials.
Through the partnership with Directorate of Public Works Masterplans, DPW Engineering and DPW Roads and Grounds crew, Soldiers and Department of the Army civilian employees demolished two World War II era buildings, stripping all metal from the buildings for recycling. Dirt Pour Soldiers also transported the non-recyclable materials to the Fort Campbell landfill. The project is scheduled for completion Sept. 13.
By partnering to complete the project, DPW civilian employees and Dirt Pour Soldiers saved Fort Campbell at least $100,000 in contracting costs, said Ross Romero, Fort Campbell community planner.
“Building 604 and 606 are both World War II era wooden structures,” Romero said. “Per the new commander directive, we’ve been asked to demolish all World War II buildings. The two structures were scheduled for a demolition program, but we were unable to receive funding from MILCON (Military Construction). The opportunity came for Dirt Pour to do it with the help of our Roads and Grounds crew at DPW, and we decided to try it.”
Brad Scheuermann, DPW Masterplans facilities managing specialist, said the buildings were built in 1942 and were no longer operational. The assistance of Dirt Pour’s Soldiers is cutting back on the amount of time the project normally would take.
“I think the entire site was surprised by how fast we brought down the first building,” Scheuermann said. “The 604 building came down within an hour and a half.”
The Dirt Pour Soldiers worked alongside the civilian crew to demolish the buildings and haul away the rubble.
“We have hauled off 5,380 pounds of metal and counting on this project,” said Rob Anderson, Qualified Recycling Program manager, Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works. “We will make an estimated amount of $400 from the metal, mostly steel, that we will be able to scrap. The money will go into the quality of life enhancement projects on Fort Campbell, adding to the money we make selling used motor oil from military vehicles, used brass from ranges, and ammo cans we recycle as well.”
The project not only helps the installation cut down on costs, but the money made from the materials is returned for enhancements on Fort Campbell.
“We are helping the environment and we are seeing what the money goes into,” Anderson said. “A few of the projects that this type of money goes into would be improvements at the Warrior Zone, nature trails, Week of the Eagles fireworks entertainment, and so forth.”
Lieutenant Mike Masley, 2nd Platoon, 887th Engineer Company, 19th U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said allowing Dirt Pour to not only participate, but also bring money back to the installation was a great opportunity.
“DPW asked for assistance with getting rid of the World War II buildings,” Masley said. “All of the revenue comes back to Fort Campbell and gets spent on Fort Campbell. All of my Soldiers have been trained on this equipment, but we don’t have this type of work attached to our military operations. This is a unique opportunity for my Soldiers to work with this equipment and other professionals.”
Masley said his Soldiers have already greatly benefitted from working on the project and learning from their civilian teammates on the project.
Thirty-one Soldiers from Dirt Pour participated on the project. Romero said the initial plan is to revert the grounds where the World War II era buildings once stood back to green spaces, and will be available for development in the future if needed.
“This is a cool first project for our Dirt Pour Soldiers,” Romero said. “It’s a really great program and the hope is to do more of these programs in the future. It’s been very successful so far.”
Anderson said the recycling aspect of the project is incredibly beneficial.
“Doing this work in house, we are saving a lot of money for the installation because we are cutting out contractor costs,” Anderson said. “This also allows us to keep the revenue from the recyclable material right here on Fort Campbell.”
The civilian crew also enjoyed the benefits of working alongside the Dirt Pour Soldiers.
“From the DPW standpoint, we would like to be able to reach out to them more often, this was our first experience working with them,” Scheuermann said. “We really appreciate the Dirt Pour Soldiers, it’s been a huge asset, if it weren’t for them it wouldn’t have happened. It’s been a great experience seeing everyone working together.”