DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, Fla. --
Marines from 6th Engineer Support
Battalion and Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine
Forces Reserve, are participating in Innovative Readiness Training Dry
Tortugas, Aug. 1 – 29, 2016.
Marines joined members of the Air Force Reserve’s 482nd Civil Engineering
Squadron and 301st CES in a project to renovate the crew quarters at Fort
Jefferson, which is located inside of the park.
to the National Park Service, Fort Jefferson was built to protect one of the
most strategic deep-water anchorages in North America, but was later abandoned
by the U.S. Army in 1874. The fort now serves as a popular tourist destination
as well as a place to house research groups from universities across the
country coming to study marine ecosystems in the 46-square-mile Dry Tortugas Research
The renovation of
the crew quarters will help sustain larger groups working at the park.
year the National Park Service is having us renovate the crew quarters so
larger groups can work in the park,” said Chief Master Sgt. David S. Hanck, the
project manager for IRT Dry Tortugas with the 482nd CES. “Since we began this
project we have worked on various construction projects at the request of the
involvement of the 482nd CES with the park dates back to the 1970s, but was
discontinued in 2004.
stopped in 2004, but started back up again in 2010,” Hanck said. “When we
started up again, we learned we had to do it as an IRT project.”
Innovative Readiness Training program began in 1992 when the Department of
Defense searched for innovative programs to serve American communities in need
and provide realistic military training benefits. The three primary areas of
emphasis were health care, infrastructure support and youth training areas. This year marks the first joint service and
joint unit iteration of the Dry Tortugas project.
saw that the Air Force Reserve had been the lead on this project and we wanted
to support them,” said Master Sgt. Marcelino Marquez, IRT planner for 4th MLG.
order for Marine Forces Reserve to determine whether or not it will support an
IRT, planners must determine if the project meets a mission essential task
list, a list of training requirements the Marine Corps must meet to accomplish
the overall organizational mission.
scope of the project met our METLs, so 6th ESB went ahead and put in an
application to support the IRT,” Marquez said. “The joint aspect of the project
is important because eventually, when we are in a combat zone, we may have to
work together. It is better that we are doing it now than on a deployment.”
of the project’s most challenging aspects of this project is working on a
structure work is a little different here,” Marquez said. “It is a historical
site, so the engineers can’t nail anything into the existing bricks. The
engineers have to understand that they are preserving the historical
significance of the site.”
precautions to preserve the fort can be challenging for those working on the
project. Fortunately, many of the service members here were handpicked for
their civilian construction expertise.
a carpenter, so I do a lot of this type of work in the civilian world,” said
Cpl. Thomas A. Trinosky Jr., a combat
engineer with Engineer Services Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 25, CLR 45.
“I’m currently doing a couple of remodels on my home, so I can turn around and jump
right into this.”
the breadth of experience working on the project, the Marines and Airmen also
have an opportunity to learn from each other.
never worked with drywall before,” said Senior Airman Michael Chinchilla, an
engineering assistant with the 482nd CES and a full-time police officer in
Miami. “"For me the hardest thing about this project is learning the
different jobs that need to be done. I'm lucky I came with a group of guys who
are very experienced at what they do. They are very patient with showing me
what to do, so I am taking away a lot from here.”
with differences in operational styles, the service members are able to work
together effectively to get the job done.
[Chinchilla] is having a hard time with the work, he is not afraid to ask for
help,” Trinosky said. “That's really important in the construction industry. If
you do it right the first time, it makes it a lot easier to get the mission
building working relationships with another branch during the IRT, the Reserve
Marines are able to keep their skills relevant and remain ready to respond to
any future contingency.