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7th ESB leaves a lasting impression at 1st Recon

12 May 2009 | Pfc. Jeremy Fasci

With a little help, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division is about to get stronger.

For a little over two weeks, Marines from 2nd platoon, Company C, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group lent a hand by building a physical fitness park here April 13-30.

Building the physical training site for the reconnaissance Marines allowed the engineers the opportunity to practice their construction skills on something that will be of use after they are finished building.

“Normally, if we want to build on base for training purposes, we would end up having to tear the project down as soon as we were done with the training, so it’s nice to actually see our work is going to be used later on,” said Sgt. Robert G. Spayd, the jobsite leader and a squad leader for 2nd platoon, Company C.

“We were looking on base for things that we could build to train our junior Marines on basic construction skills, and Recon offered us this idea,” said Spayd, 25, who is from Albuquerque, N.M.  “Not only will this site be used countless times after we are finished, it’s one of the best ways to train because it’s something different than we normally are able to build.”

Doing diverse training gives noncommissioned officers the ability to pass knowledge on to their junior Marines.

“It’s nice to get away from the company and work on something that can help another battalion,” said Lance Cpl. Kendall V. Richardson, 23, from 2nd platoon, Company C., who is from Tulsa, Okla.  “While we are out here, we also get to learn things from the different people who have been doing this type of construction for a while.”

With the guidance of their NCOs, the project went smoothly once all the necessary resources were allocated and delivered.

“One of the hardest things to deal with during this project was logistics,” said Spayd.  “Doing the physical labor needed to finish the project wasn’t as hard as getting all the material and equipment on the site because of the many different units that we had to go through to get what we needed.”

1st Reconnaissance Bn. had an idea of what they originally wanted the park to be and the engineers worked off of that.

“During the planning stage we worked with the idea Recon had and showed them what exactly we could do for them, finally coming up with the design that is in place now,” said Spayd.

The construction went quickly once the team actually got working on the project, surprising some of the engineers.

The hardest part of the whole project was getting the retaining wall done,” said Lance Cpl. Frank A. Villalpando, 24, from 2nd platoon, who is from Riverside, Calif.  “Once the wall was finished, the rest of the project turned out better than I had expected, because at the beginning we had some difficulties with supplying the materials needed.”

With Recon’s physical training field complete, the engineers became a little bit more proficient as a team and gained the satisfaction of helping another unit better themselves.

“I can’t take any credit for this because I couldn’t have finished the project without my Marines,” said Spayd.  “They put in the actual man hours and finished what needed to be done.”