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146th AW CES Hawaii Blog, day 3

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley Ramirez
  • 146AW
The last few days of construction for civil engineers of the 146th AW and the Barber's Point project has been long and tiresome, but their efforts have not gone unnoticed. The job site has been completely transformed since the first day of demolition. The walls are framed, ready and waiting for paneling. Windows have been installed, and I can already picture the Coast Guard looking through them, watching the palm trees and ocean waves that are off in the distance. Old white rock that filled the flower beds at the front entrance to the building has been shoveled out, and in its place is more attractive blue lava rock. Staff Sgt. Cris Casteel builds a planter out of large boulders of lava rock that will surround a tree in the front of the building. As one Airman brings in loads of rock, Casteel carefully walks through the pile, picking out each rock with precision almost as if he is doing a puzzle. But a lot more difficult I'm sure. The gym is almost done as well. After getting the materials they needed, Master Sgt. Don Simmons and his crew are going in and out from the HVAC units, outside, back indoors, running wires, climbing on top of ladders and drilling mounts into the walls. Every once in a while, I walk in and see a "Coastie" running on the treadmill, sweating... a lot. I wonder if I am as excited for this HVAC unit as he is, I don't think so. Everyone seems to be working hard and making great progress. Capt. Kelvin Verrett, the site's OIC, can be heard on occasion yelling, "Out freakin' standing," as he walks around the two buildings, observing how hard his Airmen are working, with huge admiration and a pleasing smile. Capt. Verrett tells me that his Airmen are making such progress that they are about a day ahead of schedule. I hope that means we don't have to leave Hawaii a day early! Pearl City is also showing the signs of hard work and dedication. Boards have been put up, the ditches have all been dug and the tractor is moving my "ladder things", (also known as rebar reinforcements) into place. Everything is coming together and FINALLY starting to make sense to me. All in a row, boxes have been laid out and staggered across the asphalt, anxiously waiting to be filled with concrete. I learned that they are staggered and are different sizes to help with the different amount of weight that will be placed when the rifle range is put on top of our foundation after we leave. Even though the Airmen lost their fort of shade and refuge, the wind has been blowing pretty steady the last few days. I can only imagine that this breeze feels like a blessing from the skies for these Airmen who have had to work in the hot, humid heat for days. I don't know how they could have even processed a complete sentence, let alone built anything. My expertise in construction and renovation is starting to grow as well. As I continue to walk around the sites, I am starting to pick up on what these Airmen are doing and why. When I was at the Pearl City site, 1st Lt. Ryan Barry was explaining to me surveying and why it is important. We talked about how the lot slopes, and how even though to the naked eye a person may not notice, one end of the lot is eight inches higher then the other. In all my infinite wisdom and knowledge I ask "Sir, does that mean that this box will get eight more inches of concrete poured into it then that box farthest from us?" Wait for it, "EXACTLY!" Oh thank God, I finally know what I'm talking about, gold star for me! With my newfound skill of Civil Engineering I'll cross train into our hardworking squadron. On second thought, maybe I should just keep writing.