Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Army Reserve Engineers Provide Security for Joint Task Force

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Army Reserve Engineers Provide Security for Joint Task Force

Article excerpt

For one engineering unit in particular, Exercise New Horizons 2004 truly offered new horizons. That is because Army Reserve Soldiers from the Cincinnati-based 611th Engineer Company (Light Equipment), 983rd Engineer Battalion (Combat)(Heavy), 88th Readiness Command, spent their time in Jutiapa, Guatemala, providing security and force protection for members of the Joint Task Force instead of performing their typical mission.

According to Capt. Jon Brierton, commander of the 611th, providing security to the Joint Task Force was a daunting task for his 15 Soldiers, whose average age is 25 years old. But it was good experience for his troops, who he says are up to any challenge thrown their way.

"A lot of the engineer units being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan essentially are doing what we did during New Horizons - providing force protection and security at base camps, airports, etc. So it was a perfect exercise for my company, who can handle pretty much anything, " said Brierton.

"Before we deployed to Guatemala, all of my Soldiers knew this was going to be their mission, and I think they were pretty excited about it. It was something different, and also one of our wartime tasks," he added.

To ensure they provided the best security coverage they could, Brierton said he took his Soldiers on an aerial, as well as a wheeled-vehicle, reconnaissance of the base camp and the job sites. They then established security by stringing more than 2,400 meters of concertina wire around the compound. …

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