FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 19, 2020) — A water hazard near Forney Airfield’s flight line has become an opportunity for Fort Leonard Wood engineer units to train on equipment and save time and money at the same time – all while making the airfield safer.
According to 509th Clearance Company Commander David Hoy, the “mutually beneficial project” allows his unit to gain critical experience on their earth-moving equipment while providing a closer location for another unit, Company A, 554th Engineer Battalion, to place clean fill from a separate on-going concrete-removal project being accomplished on post in conjunction with the Missouri National Guard. The clean fill assists Forney Airfield with the removal of a safety hazard due to the presence of birds and the proximity of the water to the flight path – at the same time, saving money that would’ve otherwise been needed to alleviate the hazard.
“Our operators get to build proficiency and support the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence team as well as safety on the airfield,” Hoy said. “Our operators have a high probability of going to a construction unit later in their career. Because of that, we continue to look for ways to challenge them with similar problem sets they will encounter when they join a construction unit, in addition to their combat skills they constantly train on in our clearance company.”
Airport Manager Dave Robinson sees the project as a win for everyone.
“We’ve got Soldiers getting training,” he said. “It’s always a win-win when – on a training installation – we can assist the trainers. We’re all working together and we’re saving money at the same time.”
Hoy said the airfield management team “floated the idea” to him of filling in the water hazard as a training opportunity after the 509th completed a separate foliage-removal project that earned five commendation and achievement medals from garrison command in February.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission