Guard, Reserve engineers renovate Maine Boy Scout camp

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Rebecca Garcia
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Guard and Reserve civil engineers from around the country are using their skills here to refurbish Camp William Hinds for the Boy Scouts of America.

Through the Department of Defense's Innovative Readiness Training program, or IRT, military construction units partner with civil organizations for military training projects that can benefit underserved communities. The Camp Hinds project is a joint training effort led by the Air National Guard.

During the initial phase, military service members hauled 2,258 cubic yards of tree stumps, 3,501 cubic yards of boulders, prepared 9,813 meals, completed 29,112 training hours, moved 33,621 cubic yards of Earth, and cleared 270, 938 square feet of land.

Construction at Camp Hinds began in April and will continue through August. More than 500 service members from Air National Guard, Marine Corps Reserve and Army Reserve units will rotate through the project. Airmen, Marines and Soldiers are making the trip to Main from Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington.

"The main goal of the IRT is to prepare our service members for their wartime mission. In today's joint environment, this mission prepares different military branches to work shoulder-to-shoulder in preparation for deployments," said Michael Cain, IRT project manager from the North Carolina Air National Guard. "Working with the civilian sector is rare and exposes our troops to local and state building codes, laws, and construction methods. This side of the construction industry broadens their experience to be better craftsmen."

The Arizona Air National Guard's 161st Air Refueling Wing contributed over 30 Airmen to the project including a civil engineer team and food services personnel.

"The best benefit for our Airmen is teambuilding while gaining specific skills related to our jobs," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Boudro, a facilities manager from the 161st. "Helping other communities while team building is such a great reward."

"On drill weekends we are overburdened with computer based training and mandatory requirements, so there isn't a chance to have hands-on technical training," said Master Sgt. Redentor Felt, a structure superintendent from the 161st. "Our Airmen get to cross-train and work on various construction trade skills such as land clearing, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, building shooting ranges, and constructing roads and parking lots."

The Rhode Island Air National Guard is leading the food service effort for the duration of the training mission.

"Working with different military branches from other states has been enlightening for me; seeing that joint teamwork and the unique qualities that each branch brings to the table is remarkable," said Tech. Sgt. Jermaine Lewis, a food services specialist from Rhode Island. "We are all out here to support the needs of Camp Hinds and get their facilities operating so the Scouts can enjoy their time here year after year."