243RD CMT cases colors, prepares for deployment

Story and photo by Pfc. David Huddleston
18th Eng. Bde. Public Affairs

SCHWETZINGEN, Germany — A construction management team assigned to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command cased its colors Jan. 6 at Tompkins Barracks here in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

The 243rd Construction Management Team, 18th Engineer Brigade, will be supporting ongoing operation as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 21st TSC’s 18th Eng. Bde. deployed its 54th Engineer Battalion and its 15th Eng. Bn. within the last few months. After the 243rd CMT deployment, the brigade headquarters will also deploy.

It has taken many months of training for the small unit to be fully prepared to deploy. The 243rd CMT Soldiers executed realistic mission readiness exercises by providing survey support to future land owners.

“A key focus of our training was project management since we aren’t actually the ones swinging the hammers or pushing the dirt with the bulldozers,” said Maj. Aaron Wolf, the 243rd CMT commander. “We are the ones who make the big plan and then do the quality control.”

When the 243rd CMT receives a mission, the team of Soldiers must first survey the area they are working in. This involves getting accurate elevation readings via global positioning systems. From there, the team uploads the data and generates map information of the terrain. Once they have an accurate map, they can begin the design process. When their mission is complete, the customer has a design and a set of experts to provide an additional set of eyes for quality control.

“We plan on using our expertise to make upgrades and improvements to the facilities,” said detachment sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Scott Mays.

The improvements will increase the size and therefore the occupancy and quality of living on select forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

This will be the 243rd CMT’s second deployment since its reactivation Dec. 16, 2006, with its first deployment in 2007 to Iraq.